November 22, 2021
21-103

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

Marisa Lauer Named Top College of the Arts Graduate at VSU

Marisa Delfina Kimberlee Lauer of New Port Richey, Florida, is the recipient of the Fall 2021 President’s Award for Academic Excellence for the College of the Arts at Valdosta State University. She will graduate summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance during VSU's 232nd Commencement.

VALDOSTA — Marisa Delfina Kimberlee Lauer of New Port Richey, Florida, is the recipient of the Fall 2021 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 six colleges — Harley Langdale Jr. College of Business Administration, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, College of the Arts, James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College of Education and Human Services, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and College of Science and Mathematics.

Lauer will be recognized during VSU’s 232nd Commencement at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 11, on the Front Lawn. She will graduate summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance.

“I feel very humbled and honored to receive this award and to represent the College of the Arts,” she said. “I have always strived to do my best, but I never thought I would get this far. I owe a debt of gratitude to VSU and the professors who never gave up on me and helped me reach my goals and beyond.

“The past four years at VSU have helped me grow not only academically but also as an individual. I discovered independence, confidence, and insight. I am eternally grateful to the dance faculty for encouraging creativity and to my fellow dance students, some with whom I have built a lifelong bond.”

As a student at VSU, Lauer served as secretary of the National Honor Society for Dance Arts, a dance program mentor, and a dance instructor for the Valdosta Early College Academy, a partnership with the Valdosta City School System that provides early access to higher education for first-generation college students. She worked at the Theatre and Dance Box Office; she supported the annual Theatre and Dance Cabaret and the annual Dancing with the Stars of Valdosta, fundraisers supporting scholarships for theatre, dance, and music students. She performed twice with the Valdosta School of Ballet’s production of “Sleeping Beauty,” another scholarship fundraiser for VSU Theatre and Dance students.  

Lauer’s commitment to academic, creative, and leadership excellence resulted in her earning repeated Dean’s List honors, the Wesley Ren Christie Scholarship, the Youmans Scholarship, the Golden Circle Scholarship, and the MESA (Mentor, Engage, Support, and Achieve) Scholarship.

“I plan to audition for contemporary ballet companies with hopes of performing for several years,” she said. “After that, I would like to become a dance instructor or event planner. The future holds many possibilities.”

Lauer’s supportive family includes her mom, Karen Lauer.

On the Web:
https://www.valdosta.edu/administration/advancement/event-services/commencement/
https://www.valdosta.edu/colleges/arts/
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