Honoring students for scholarship, service


Loyola President and CEO Michael J. Garanzini, S.J., shares a laugh with Medallion winner Whitney Smurr and Terri Pigott, associate dean of academic programs in the School of Education. (Photo by Bruce Powell.) 

Under the magnificent domed ceilings of Navy Pier’s Grand Ballroom, members of the Loyola community gathered Nov. 8 to honor this year’s recipients of the President’s Medallion. The annual award recognizes students in each of Loyola’s schools for their outstanding scholarship, leadership, and service.

This year’s President’s Medallion winners are:

  • Julie Breckenfelder (Quinlan School of Business)
  • Rianne Coale (School of Communication)
  • Anthony Dwyer (School of Continuing and Professional Studies)
  • Gregory Eisinger (Stritch School of Medicine)
  • Kevin Mundackal (St. Joseph Seminary)
  • Devan Patel (Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing)
  • Gwendolyn Purifoye (Graduate School)
  • Whitney Smurr (School of Education)
  • Kristen Totten (School of Law)
  • Shahtaj Usmani (College of Arts and Sciences)
  • Taha Zaffar (School of Social Work)

“Each of tonight’s recipients was recommended for this award by their academic dean because they exemplify a wonderful combination of achievement in scholarship, leadership, and service,” said Jane Neufeld, dean of students.

“In addition, they are seen as persons of integrity, good reputation, and manifest leadership in serving others,” Neufeld said. “In short, they are students for which Loyola and its founders can take great pride.” 

After the private awards ceremony led by Neufeld and Loyola President and CEO Michael J. Garanzini, S.J., students, faculty, and staff were welcomed into the ballroom for a night of dining and dancing while gazing out on the panoramic views of Lake Michigan.

Congratulations to each of this year’s President’s Medallion recipients. Check back later in the winter for profiles of each of the winners.