The Golden Gorilla Award was established in 1997 to recognize juniors and non-graduating seniors of PSU for their academic success and involvement at PSU and in Pittsburg.
This year, 19 Gorillas were chosen for the award.
Samuel Eddington, junior in biology, is the vice president of Campus Christians, secretary of the Honors College Association, president of Biology Club, and social media director for Natural Ties. Additionally, Eddington is involved in Chemistry Club, the Psychology and Counseling Society, Omicron Delta Kappa, and Phi Eta Sigma.
“I feel incredibly blessed to be named Golden Gorilla alongside all the people that won it this year,” Eddington said. “Pitt State is full of many amazing and high achieving students, so being thought of by the faculty and selection committee to be among them is an amazing honor.”
Nicole Day, junior in nursing, is a member of the Gorilla Activities Board (GAB), PSU Circle K International, Kansas Association of Nursing Students (KANS), and Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society. Day described being nominated as “humbling.”
“… I am so honored to be named as a Golden Gorilla for 2021,” Day said. “It’s so nice to know that my achievements here at Pitt State are being recognized.”
Morgan Singletary, senior in math and computer information systems, is president of Sigma Sigma Sigma, a student ambassador, and a member of PSU Marching Band, Student Government Association, Order of Omega, Panhellenic Council.
“It really is an honor to receive a Golden Gorilla,” Singletary said. “I have seen class after class of Golden Gorilla recipients and wanted to be one of the lucky ones to receive it. Now, actually receiving it makes me feel like all of my hard work has paid off.”
One thing Eddington enjoys is the closeness of PSU faculty and students.
“…Whether it be the professors, your friends, or the administrators, you can definitely tell that they support you and want the best for you,” Eddington said. “Honestly, the entire community is really involved with and cares about the university. During the course of my college career, Pitt State has become like a second home and the people here have become like my family.”
Singletary also enjoys the close-knit community at PSU.
“My favorite thing about Pitt is the family atmosphere,” Singletary said. “It’s almost as if everyone knows everyone, so you are never really alone.”
Other recipients include Adrea Shadbolt (psychology), Tone‘Nae Bradley-Toomer (clinical psychology), nursing students Kate Stahl, Becca Brown, and Shelby Oldham, biology students Madeline Gay and Bella L’Heureux, Mishelle Smith (interior design), Sarah Case (mechanical engineering technology), Emily Hanenberg (exercise science), Noah Larson (history), Grace Haworth (graphic communication), Sumner Mackey (political science and communication) , Sydney Martinez (political science), Abbey Schwab (communication), and Amanda Trout (English and Spanish).
“Pittsburg State University and the town of Pittsburg as a whole have given so much to me, it only makes sense to give what I can back,” Eddington said. “I desire to be as involved as I can so that I can continue to be a positive impact on the people around me.”
A video with commentary of some of 2021’s Golden Gorillas can be found online (www.pittstate.edu/news).
“I am very thankful for the support of everyone who has helped me get to where I am today, and I am so proud to be a Pitt State Gorilla,” Day said.