Cords of Distinction Award

2023 Cords of Distinction Winners

Even as we celebrate the contributions of all students to our campus community, The Cords of Distinction award provides a special opportunity to recognize those whose efforts made outstanding contributions to the university, community or society. Up to 10 graduating undergraduate students are recognized annually. 


The 2023 Cords of Distinction recipients are:

  • Skyy Brinkley, a clinical lab science major and psychology minor from Waldorf, Maryland;
  • La'akea Fujita, with majors in accounting and business administration from Coopersburg, Pennsylvania;
  • Briana Garcia-Sanchez, a liberal arts major from Abbottstown, Pennsylvania;
  • Nardos Haile, with a major in social work, a minor in criminology and restorative justice, and a minor in psychology, from Lancaster, Pennsylvania;
  • Philip Krabill, with majors in peacebuilding and development and Bible, religion and theology and a minor in community organizing and development from Elkhart, Indiana;
  • Molly Piwonka, an art major with an all-grade education (PreK-12) licensure and an environmental studies minor from Salisbury, Pennsylvania;
  • Rayn Robinson, a psychology major and human resource management minor from Henrico, Virginia;
  • Aman Seyoum, a clinical lab science major from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia;
  • Lindsey White, an environmental science major and environmental justice minor from Broadway, Virginia;
  • Merry Yirga, a liberal arts major with minors in sociology, psychology, and peacebuilding, from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Meaning of the Cords of Distinction

Blue: strength of conviction that one person can help to create a better institution; also willingness and openness to share thoughts and ideas

Gold: love of spirit and yearning towards creating a better university community in which all can take part; gold is also the color of achievement

See past recipients of the cords.

Selection Criteria

Any undergraduate senior student who…

  • is participating in this academic year’s commencement (spring, summer, or fall)
  • positively influenced on-campus communities
  • positively influenced the institutional image
  • positively influenced off-campus communities, near or far
  • is in good academic and social standing

Who may nominate a student?

All members of the university community are welcome to submit Cords of Distinction nominations. A selection committee comprised of faculty, staff and administrators will review all nominations. Anonymous nominations are not permitted.

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