2017 Wardian Leadership Award Winner


September 06, 2017
It is my pleasure to present Sam Brown for the Jeanne Foster Wardian Student Leadership Award. This award represents evidence of excellent scholastic achievements, disciplinary competence, commitment to education through service, and integrity of character.

I have had the opportunity to serve as Sam’s instructor for a number of classes during his time at Gonzaga as well as his academic advisor and I am honored to be able to take this opportunity to share some of the reasons why the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education feels Sam exemplifies what it means to be a leader and why he is deserving of this honor.

At the end of this semester, Sam will have completed all of his degree requirements for his Bachelor of Education in Kinesiology and Physical Education and will complete his student teaching experience this fall. Upon completion, Sam will be certified to teach both K-12 Health and Fitness teacher as well as secondary social studies. Sam has done all of this while maintaining a GPA that has landed him on President’s or Dean’s List most semesters while here at Gonzaga. This is especially remarkable considering all that he has involved himself with both around the Gonzaga campus and the Spokane community.

Sam is a member and team leader on the Gonzaga baseball team. In addition to some pretty impressive stats on the field (for example, in 2016 he had a 31 game on base streak – second longest since 2008), he has also been named to the WCC All-Academic Team twice and received the National Consortium for Academics and Sports Momentum Award.

As if all of this isn’t impressive enough, Sam has also involved himself in a number of volunteer experiences. He has been an after school program volunteer for the Boys and Girls Club, he was a service team member for the homeless outreach program Blessings Under the Bridge, he is a service team member for construction with Habitat for Humanity, and is currently serving as the student athlete health and wellness coordinator for the Student Athlete Advisory Committee.

When Sam’s peers and other professors were asked to weigh in on why he is deserving of the Wardian Leadership award, there were a number of common themes that emerged, including his willingness to go above and beyond to help his peers, his ability to lead by example, his preparation that tends to far exceed the minimum expectations, his respect for all, and his passion for making an impact in the teaching profession.

And lastly, if this doesn’t show why Sam is the obvious choice for this award, I don’t know what will. Last year on my son’s 9th birthday, I asked him what he wanted to do for it. His only response: I want a Sam Brown birthday party. And so I took 10 3rd grade boys to a rainy Gonzaga baseball game and listened to my son proudly tell his friends: “I can’t wait for you guys to meet Sam. He is the best.”I couldn’t agree more.

It is my honor to present Sam Brown with the 2017 Wardian Leadership award.

-Kristen Kavon