First presented in 1993, the Vice President's Award for Distinguished Leadership, Scholarship, and Service honors a graduating senior for leadership contributions that have increased in depth and breadth to the Marquette and Milwaukee communities during the course of his or her undergraduate career. The highest honor presented by the Division of Student Affairs, this award recognizes student excellence as a leader who embodies the ideals expressed in the University Mission.
In 2010 the award was named in honor of Fr. Andy Thon, who served as Vice President for Student Affairs at Marquette from 1997 to 2008 after holding student affairs positions at Wheeling Jesuit College, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Seattle University, and Marquette. Under Fr. Thon's leadership, Marquette dramatically increased opportunities for community service, expanded opportunities for involvement in student organizations and club sports (which nearly doubled in number during his tenure), and constructed and renovated new apartments and residence halls to address the growing residential population. Fr. Thon continues to work with future student affairs educators as a teacher, advisor, and mentor in the College Student Personnel master's program through the Marquette University College of Education.
Elyse O'Callaghan is from Wauwatosa, WI and is a 5th year senior studying Civil Engineering in the College of Engineering Co-op program at Marquette. During her time at Marquette, she has served as a participant and trip leader for MARDI GRAS Hurricane Katrina relief work, a retreat leader for Campus Ministry, a Confirmation Leader and Trip Leader for Appalachian Service Project at her home parish of St. Bernard's, a Project Lead and Chapter President within Engineers Without Borders, and will be a Manresa Scholar for the 2013-14 school year. She will graduate with a Bachelors Degree in May 2014, and after that hopes to pursue a year of service either in the Milwaukee area or abroad in Guatemala.