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Education Department — 2020 EU graduation awards

Published on May 5, 2020 by Paul K. Logsdon


SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The Department of Education at Evangel University has announced its 2020 graduation awards. Due to COVID-19 and the cancellation of campus events, Evangel’s traditional Baccalaureate and Commencement ceremonies have been postponed until mid-August. The awards were given remotely by the department.

Working with the theme “caring, committed, competent educators shape the future,” the Education Department at Evangel offers 15 majors.

These include early childhood, elementary and middle school education; plus specialized majors in art, biology, business, chemistry, communication, English, math, music, social science, Spanish, theatre/speech, and physical education.

The Education 2020 awardees are Madaline Thompson, Sydney Follis, Shantell Gamlen, Mariah Murrish, Brooke Hove, Cassandra Schmitt, Leslie Perona and Nicole Gore. // PHOTOS PROVIDED


The following Education 2020 awards were presented:

Outstanding Graduate in Early Childhood Education

  • Madaline Thompson from Barry, Illinois

Academic Excellence in Early Childhood Education

  • Sydney Follis from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Outstanding Graduate in Elementary Education

  • Shantell Gamlen from Port Orchard, Washington

Academic Excellence in Elementary Education

  • Mariah Murrish from Kearney, Nebraska

Outstanding Graduate in Special Education

  • Brooke Hove from Victoria, Minnesota

Academic Excellence in Special Education

  • Cassandra Schmitt from Springfield, Illinois

Outstanding Graduate in Middle School Education

  • Leslie Perona from St. James, Missouri

Cori Holsinger-Hartje Award — Outstanding Graduating Student in Teacher Education

  • Nicole Gore from Ozark, Missouri


The Class of 2020

A survey of more than 500 spring graduates of Evangel University and its seminary showed that 84% preferred to have a traditional Commencement and have it postponed until later in the summer.

• The 62nd Annual Commencement for Evangel will be held Saturday, August 15, at 9:30 a.m. in the Central Assembly auditorium, 1301 N. Boonville in Springfield, Missouri.

• The 47th Annual Commencement for Assemblies of God Theological Seminary of Evangel will take place as a part of the same ceremony. The two schools were consolidated in 2013 and combined their graduations in 2018.

Emmy Award winning journalist Steve Grant will be the Commencement speaker. Grant is a 1976 Evangel graduate and a highly-regarded news anchor at KY3, the NBC affiliate for the Springfield metro area. In addition, he currently serves as president of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Mid-America Chapter.

The Commencement 2020 ceremony will be live-streamed at

For additional details on Evangel’s three Baccalaureate & Awards Ceremonies, and on Steve Grant’s life of service, see a feature story on the EU website.

Evangel University, which includes AGTS, is a comprehensive Christian university committed to excellence in educating and equipping students to serve the church and society globally. Evangel serves more than 2,300 students from all 50 states and numerous foreign countries, offering 65 undergraduate majors and 19 master’s and doctoral degrees.