The Commencement Speaker Medal is presented to a student who represents the character of the graduating class and will give an inspirational and engaging speech that represents the college’s values and learning outcomes.
Nina Hills, a biology major with both pre-medical and pre-veterinary tracks and a minor in chemistry, is a strong, well-rounded student and an active participant in the life of the college. From the moment she arrived at Colby-Sawyer from her home in Jacksonville, Fla., Nina sought opportunities to make positive contributions to the community, and she quickly established herself as a campus leader.
In Nina’s first semester on campus, she joined the women’s track and field team, African Student Association, Navigators Christian Club, Dance Club, Student Government Association, Colby-Sawyer Players, Biology Club and Improv Anonymous, and she participated in the Emerging Leaders program. When she was a sophomore, Nina’s classmates selected her as the recipient of the Ann Gulick Award, presented to the sophomore student who best exemplifies, through voluntary service, the qualities of reliability, loyalty and unselfishness. Nina maintained a high level of engagement and involvement throughout her four years at the college.
As a student leader, Nina served on Community Council and the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Task Force. She was an orientation leader, a peer mentor with Student Success and Retention, a mentor for the Summit Scholars summer program and a resident assistant. She was also a co-chair of the Presidential Blue Key Society. This spring, Nina was selected by members of the junior class as the Graduate Award winner in recognition of her character and positive influence on campus.
One individual who nominated Nina to be the Senior Commencement Speaker wrote, “I am grateful for Nina’s ability to work with others in a mature and compassionate way.” Another wrote, “She has made many students feel welcome and heard.”
After graduation, Nina plans to attend medical and veterinary school. Her Commencement address is titled “Unfinished Stories.”