Lee News

Gordon Named Winner of The 2020 Zeno C. Tharp Award


Nicolette Gordon was recently named the recipient of Lee University’s 2020 Zeno C. Tharp Award.

The Zeno C. Tharp Award is given annually to the Lee senior who shows the greatest promise of making a significant contribution to the Church. Established in 1955, the award is named in honor of the sixth president of Lee, who served from 1935-44. Each department may nominate one student for the award. A winner is selected by faculty vote from this group of nominees.

Nicolette Gordon

“It’s such an honor to receive this award as a vote of confidence from the faculty,” said Gordon. “I never would have anticipated receiving it, but I’m so thankful for the support and encouragement of my departments and faculty.”

“Nicolette is a student with amazing capacity to take on very diverse roles and challenges while at the same time keeping her focus on serving others,” said Dr. David Broersma, associate professor of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and linguistics. “She did all of these things with excellence while still making time for reaching out to people who needed her help.”

Gordon has been involved with the track and field team as a student coach for the past three years. She was a student leader in Lee’s English Language Center, along with being an assistant to Dr. Christopher Blake, associate professor of TESOL and linguistics. She also served as a tutor for math and ESL (English as a Second Language) during her time at Lee.

“Nicolette is truly a remarkable student with a heart to bring light into the darkest corners of the earth. In spite of difficult challenges that would cause some to turn inward and shrink back, Nicolette has faithfully pursued the call to love and serve others in her life,” said Blake. “I nominated her with confidence that many years from now, we will see her still making a significant difference in the world for the Kingdom.”

Gordon graduated last month with a double major in mathematics and TESOL. The university’s commencement exercises have been rescheduled to take place this summer, at which time Gordon will be recognized for this award.

Gordon’s plan is to teach English or math overseas in less developed countries to help improve people’s quality of life through education.

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