Two students honored with Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award

Published: April 30, 2019
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Auburn University recently recognized a future civil engineer and a military veteran as recipients of the prestigious Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award.

Natalie Palmquist and Kyle Venable received the award, which is given annually to individuals who embody high qualities and nobility of character, at the President’s Luncheon in April.

The Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award has been presented at Auburn since 1951 as a reminder of the noblest human qualities exemplified by Algernon Sydney Sullivan, a prominent humanitarian and first president of the New York Southern Society, now the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Foundation. Each year, Auburn bestows the honor on one male and one female student from the graduating class.

Palmquist, a native of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is a civil engineering major, with a minor in philanthropy and nonprofit studies. Among her many accolades, including her near perfect 3.96 GPA, Palmquist is among the top one percent of engineering students at Auburn. She was named a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship and is the recipient of the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering Stone Leadership Award. Palmquist has also been a member of the Honors College since her freshman year and is a current member of the Chi Epsilon Civil Engineering Honor Society.

At Auburn, Palmquist has served in various leadership roles such as an International Student Orientation Leader with Auburn Global and vice president of the Turkism Student Organization. She has also served as president of the Auburn University Engineers Without Borders chapter and is its Rwandan Team leader. She is a program intern with Engineering Ministries International in Delhi, India.

Venable left his home in LaFayette to join the United States Marine Corps and completed three combat deployments, two in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. He received the Navy and Marine Corps Medals for Commendation and Achievement. He has received medals for Outstanding Volunteer Service and Good Conduct. After serving almost 17 years as a gunnery sergeant in the Marines, Venable is pursuing an information system management degree with a focus on cybersecurity.

Venable is a member of the Marine Corps League, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and Project Management Institute. He is also a member of the Auburn Student Veterans Association where he has served as president for the past three years. During his presidency, participation has increased by 70 percent, donations by 50 percent and the student veteran population is at the forefront of Auburn University’s Veterans Resource Center.

The annual luncheon also featured the presentation of the W. James Samford Jr. Memorial Scholarship to Luke Samuel Anderson, a junior from Killen, Alabama, majoring in chemical engineering with a specialization in pre-medicine and minoring in Spanish. The award is named in memory of James Samford, a 1972 Auburn alumnus and member of the Auburn Board of Trustees from 1987 until his death in 2003.

The President's Award and W. James Samford Jr. Foundation Award recognizes one graduate in each school or college who has completed at least three semesters at Auburn with a minimum grade-point average of 3.40 and possesses outstanding qualities of leadership, citizenship, character and promise of professional ability.

This year’s President’s Award honorees are Lancaster Anne Blake, College of Agriculture; Jedediah E. Grant, College of Architecture, Design and Construction; Allan W. Gulley, Raymond J. Harbert College of Business; Daniel Ray Campbell, College of Education; Natalie Rebekah Palmquist, Samuel Ginn College of Engineering; Cullen Anderson, School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences; Rakish Shrestha, Graduate School; Martha Heidrich Yergey, College of Human Sciences; Madison M. Ogletree, College of Liberal Arts; Amber Nicole Butts, School of Nursing; Lauren Elizabeth Wright, Harrison School of Pharmacy; Kevin Michael Wyss, College of Sciences and Mathematics; and Rachel Roberson Pfeifle, College of Veterinary Medicine.

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn's commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact. Auburn's mission to educate, discover and collaborate drives its expanding impact on the world.