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Richard Rugg, Emmalee Lowe Named 2022 Graduation Student Award Winners

By June 1, 2022Academics

The Spirit Award is given annually by the Student Life Office to a graduate who has distinguished himself or herself in promoting spirit on campus. The 2022 Spirit Award was given to Richard Rugg.  

Rugg earned an B.S. in Music Industry having maintained a 3.88 GPA. During his time as a Villa Viking, Rugg truly embodied the Villa Spirit, promoting everything that the College has to offer. He became well connected with his instructors and all resource offices on campus and attended and supported almost all major student-life events on campus. Richard has become very well connected with Resurrection Life Church’s food pantry through his service project in COR 401, even volunteering additional time at the pantry. Richard has led the charge of our Villa Viking spirit, often dressed as our own unofficial Villa Viking mascot. 

Named after the foundress of the Felician Sisters, the Blessed Mary Angela Student Award is awarded annually at Commencement to the most outstanding graduate of Villa Maria College. The award is selected by the President of the college and his cabinet, based on nominations from faculty and staff. Recipients embody the mission and values of Villa Maria College, demonstrated through outstanding achievement in academics, leadership, and service to both the college and local community. The 2022 The Blessed Mary Angela Student Award was given to Emmalee Lowe.  

Emmalee Lowe is completing an Interior Design BFA, with highest honors, currently carrying a 3.99 GPA. Emmalee is an exemplary student leader on campus, in and out of classroom. She was named the Outstanding Student in Interior Design in 2021 and was inducted into the national scholastic honor society Delta Epsilon Sigma. She is enrolled in the College’s Honors Program and is a repeat Dean’s list recipient. In 2019, she won a scholarship contest hosted by California Closets.  

Her design was selected as the winner by a panel of interior design professionals from the WNY community. Her work has also been featured in the American Society of Interior Design Newsletter. In 2021, Emmalee led a team of interior design students from the College as they designed and installed a room in the 2021 Junior League of Buffalo Decorator’s Show House. She is a leader among students, serving as the president of the IND Club and facilitating Bible studies, and has served the College as an orientation leader and a student ambassador. 

Both Rugg and Lowe addressed the Class of 2022 and their guests during the College’s Commencement ceremony on May 21. While Rugg discussed the faculty and staff members that shaped his experience at the College, Lowe focused on how Villa became home to her. Both thanked their classmates for their unwavering support and wished them well on their lives’ journeys.