November 27, 2017

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

Hunter Pope Named VSU College of the Arts Top Graduate

Hunter Pope

VALDOSTA — Hunter Pope of Remerton, Georgia, is the recipient of the Fall 2017 President’s Award for Academic Excellence for the College of the Arts at Valdosta State University.

The President’s Award for Academic Excellence is presented to the graduating student with the highest grade point average in each of VSU’s five colleges — College of the Arts, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Harley Langdale Jr. College of Business Administration, and James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College of Education and Human Services.

VSU will celebrate its 224th commencement on Friday, Dec. 8, and Saturday, Dec. 9.

Pope will serve as the official banner carrier for the College of the Arts during the undergraduate commencement ceremony at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9, on the VSU Front Lawn. She will graduate summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in art, a Bachelor of Arts in psychology, and an Honors College Certificate.

“It is hard to believe that my undergraduate experience at VSU is coming to an end,” she said. “Part of me feels like I just started because there are still lots of things I want to study, to learn, to try, to do. I have had many opportunities to interweave my passion for creative arts with my academic and research pursuits, and I have been blessed with talented faculty, staff, and friends who have supported me along the way.”  

As a student at VSU, Pope was a member of Sigma Alpha Pi: The National Society of Leadership and Success, where she served as president, community service chairwoman, and success networking team coordinator; the Georgia Alpha chapter of Alpha Chi National Honor Society, where she served as president and secretary/treasurer; the Honors Student Association, where she served as upperclassmen representative and secretary; the Arts Guild, where she served as secretary/treasurer; the Beta Tau chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, where she served as student vice president; Dance Marathon, where she served as director of external affairs; Golden Key International Honour Society; the Psychology Club; Psi Chi: The International Honor Society in Psychology; the College of the Arts Advisory Council; the Vice President for Student Affairs Student Advisory Committee; and more.   

Pope’s commitment to academic, research, creative, and service excellence on campus, in the community, and around the world resulted in her being named a Zell Miller Scholar and an Honors Scholar four years in a row and earning the 2017, 2016, and 2015 Outstanding Bachelor of Arts in Art Student Award from the Department of Art and Design; the 2016 Outstanding Student in the Arts Award from the College of the Arts; the 2016 Bartram Award for Intellectual Exploration from the Honors College; the 2016 President’s Choice Scholarship; 2016 Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges Award; the 2016-2017 Tammy Lee Fortner Scholarship; 2015-2016 Hugh C. Bailey Family Scholarship; 2015-2016 Bernard Linger Fine Arts Scholarship; 2014-2015 Alumni Association Endowment Fund Scholarship for Legacy Students; 2014-2015 Sallie M. Hutchinson Scholarship; 2015 Service Incorporated in Artifact Award from the Honors College; 2015 Spirit of Honors Scholars Award; the 2015 Department of Art and Design Outstanding Student Award; 2014 Honors College Service Learning Award; and 2014 Honors Student Association Freshman of the Year Award.

Pope earned second place honors at the 2017 Undergraduate Research Symposium Three-Minute Video Competition; a merit award (printmaking) at the 19th annual VSU Student Art Competition; third place honors (printmaking) at the 13th annual South Georgia College Art Competition; second place honors (photography) at the 12th annual South Georgia College Art Competition; and third place honors (photography) at the 44th annual Southern Regional Honors Council Conference’s juried art competition. Her work was published twice in VSU’s Odradek.  

Pope studied abroad in Ireland and the Czech Republic, where she conducted research on color perception and compared it to American university students. She led a workshop on conducting research abroad and presented research at the 2017 Southeastern Psychological Association Annual Meeting. She presented additional research at the 2017, 2016, 2015, and 2015 Georgia College Honors Council Conference; the 2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium; the 2016, 2015, and 2014 Southern Regional Honors Council Conference; and the 13th annual Art History Forum.  

Pope works part-time at the VSU Bookstore and teaches art classes at the Regional Center for Continuing Education’s Camp Discovery and Learning in Retirement programs. She enjoys serving others and volunteers her time at Jacobs’ Ladder Therapeutic Riding Center, Second Harvest of South Georgia, the Valdosta-Lowndes County Family YMCA Champions League, and more.

Pope plans to pursue a career as an art therapist and is currently applying to graduate programs across the United States. She is the daughter of Jessica Pope.

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