University of Mary Alumni Association Names Kelle D. Bacon 2011 Outstanding Senior


Bismarck, ND - Kelle Delores Bacon, Edgeley, ND, was recognized with the University of Mary Alumni Association's Outstanding Senior Award for 2011 at the university's annual President's Recognition Breakfast, Saturday, April 30. Each year, the America's Leadership University teaching faculty nominate members of the graduating class for this prestigious award, based on their academic achievement, community service and service to the University of Mary. The Alumni Council Board then selects the recipient from these nominees.

Bacon, who majored in social and behavioral sciences (non-teaching) with an emphasis in pre-law, was nominated because of the high level of achievement she has displayed in the areas of spirituality and ethics, communication, critical thinking and global stewardship, and her embodiment of the qualities the University of Mary seeks to develop in its students. "I have never met a student as dedicated to an academic institution and the mission of a university as Kelle Bacon has been to the University of Mary," said Dr. Mark M. Springer, School of Arts and Sciences, who nominated Bacon. Kelle is an exceptional student, focusing on learning and understanding materials rather than just ‘getting through' courses … [She] has a good combination of dedication and talent."

With a 3.81 grade point average overall and a 3.89 GPA in her major, Bacon was recently selected to receive the Dr. Charles Fortney Academic Excellence Award. She also received the Sister Thomas Welder Leadership Award (2009), was recognized as Outstanding Peer Mentor of the Year (2009) and Senator of the Year (2009), and was honored with and the University of Mary Competitive Forensics Leadership Award (2009, 2011) and the Senate Footprint Award for outstanding contributions (2011).

In the nomination, Springer cited Bacon's service to others and student involvement as setting her apart. While at the university, she was a prominent member of the U-Mary Pre-Law Club for four years, captain of the Marauders Speech Team for three years and student body president her senior year. She was active in Health PRO, the International Club, Student Activities and the Summit student newspaper. Exemplifying the concept of leadership through service, she also facilitated other students' college experience as a peer mentor to freshmen, resident assistant and student ambassador. In addition, Bacon was one of four students chosen to accompany a group led by Father James Shea, university president, to evaluate sites for U-Mary's Italian campus. She then served as a spokesperson to the community about the campus in Rome.

A 2007 graduate of Edgeley Public School, in the summer months, Bacon volunteers in her hometown, and last year served as an unpaid intern with the Burleigh County prosecutor's office.

"What I gained from the University of Mary surpassed all of my expectations," says Bacon. "The focus on servant leadership at the University of Mary has helped me to redefine both leadership and community service … and helped me to grow as a person and as a leader … After graduation, I plan on sharing the gifts and values that I've gained to benefit others. These four years are the perfect stepping stones for a life of service and faith."

Bacon plans to study criminal law and become a criminal prosecutor and hopes to work with juveniles. She will marry 2009 U-Mary graduate Gregory Redepenning in August. She is the daughter of Kelly and Heidi Bacon of Edgeley.

Bacon was awarded the Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude, in social and behavioral sciences, at Commencement 2011, on April 30, 2011.

The following students were nominated for the 2011 Outstanding Senior Award: Andrew Adams, Thompson, ND; Kelle Bacon, Edgeley, ND; Marley Edinger, Carrington, ND; Molly Hanwell, Hazen, ND; Cassandra Kelsch, Mandan, ND; Kyla Kinzler, Ellendale, ND; Ciara Martel, Bismarck, ND; Bailey Newland, Harlowton, MT; and Alyson Piccolo, Stanwood, WA.