Tennant Honored as Student Laureate

Jessica Tennant Honored as Student Laureate by Lincoln Academy of Illinois

Published: November 30, 2015.


(L to R) William Bennett, Chancellor of the Lincoln Academy
of Illinois, Jessica Tennant, Illinois Gov. Bruce
Rauner, and Joe Falese, Senior Vice President for Student Services

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner recently presented the honor of Illinois Student Laureate to Lewis University Senior Jessica Tennant.

The Burr Ridge resident plans to earn a bachelor’s degree in computer science and graphic design in May 2016.

“I feel extremely grateful and blessed. I couldn't have done it without all of the people around me— family, friends, mentors, professors, teammates, and peers. They were always and still continue to be supportive with all I do and I am very appreciative and thankful for all of this,” Tennant said.

The Lincoln Academy’s Student Laureate Awards are presented for excellence in curricular and extracurricular activities to seniors from each four-year, degree granting colleges and universities in Illinois. Each student received a Student Laureate Medallion, as well as a $1,000 educational grant and a certificate of achievement.

Tennant played varsity basketball for two seasons at Jacobs High School in Algonquin and lettered three seasons for the girls’ soccer team.

The Lewis University Women's Basketball player credited the Division II experience as providing life skills in teamwork, selflessness, and dedication. She appreciated “being a part of something bigger than ourselves.” Tennant is a two-time recipient of the Br. David Delahanty Award, which is given to Lewis student-athletes for academic excellence. She was also named to Academic All-GLVC Team twice.

Lewis University athletics runs in the family. Her mother Susan Oldendorf played women's basketball at Lewis University from 1984-87, while her uncle Kevin Oldendorf was a member of the Lewis men's basketball team in 1981-85.

The family connections to Lewis University don’t end off the court. Jessica’s father Edward Tennant also attended Lewis University, where her parents met. Her brother David Tennant earned a bachelor’s degree at Lewis University and is currently earning a graduate degree.

The “endless opportunities” Tennant enjoyed at Lewis University provides confidence about her future career. She was an EPIC leader, Writing Center Tutor and Club Ultimate Frisbee member, among other student activities.

Tennant’s involvement in University Ministry, fulfilled her desires to serve others and promote justice for all. More importantly, her experiences in Peer Ministry and others taught her to care for and be there for others regardless of who they are or where they come from. Her 2013 trip to St. Augustine Indian Mission School in Winnebago, Neb., as part of the weeklong LUMINATE experience, provided a unique and unforgettable experience. Tennant shined in her 2015 student leader role in the Source of Light local community service projects.

The Delta Epsilon Sigma National Catholic Honor Society induction applauded her hard work, time management and leadership. The honor society’s activities and fellow members provided support.

The student newspaper staff member learned organization and communication. The Lewis Flyer also established valuable connections.

Lewis University is a Catholic university in the Lasallian tradition offering distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs to nearly 7,000 traditional and adult students. Lewis offers multiple campus locations, online degree programs, and a variety of formats that provide accessibility and convenience to a growing student population. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis prepares intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected, and socially responsible graduates. The seventh largest private not-for-profit university in Illinois, Lewis has been nationally recognized by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report. Visit www.lewisu.edu for further information.



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