Abraham Lincoln statue on Carthage College?s campus.
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As the recipient of the Distinguished Senior Award, Grace Chapa ’24 will give the senior class address at the 2024 Commencement ceremony and celebration Friday, May 17.

Grace Chapa ?24 received the Distinguished Senior Award on May 4, 2024, during the annual Celebra... Faculty members from three different academic departments nominated Grace. With a major in Spanish and a minor in secondary education, she has maintained a 4.0 cumulative GPA.

This has been an eventful year for Grace, who received one of the College’s inaugural Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Awards in January and won the Miss Kenosha scholarship pageant in February.

The Distinguished Senior announcement came May 4 during the annual Celebration of Scholars. Grace was chosen from a pool of 15 finalists that included runner-up Phillip Hunter ’24.

Inspired by her own growth as a first-generation college student and a campus job with the Urban Teacher Preparation Program, Grace is devoting her Miss Kenosha service initiative to college accessibility. She aims to convince students “who did not think they were smart enough, rich enough, or privileged enough to attend university … that they belong in higher education.”

At Carthage, she also served on the executive board of the Mi Gente student organization and taught salsa and bachata dance classes in the community. Grace was principal French horn for the Carthage Wind Orchestra, one of several instrumental ensembles in which she performed.

Earlier this spring, students in the graduating Class of 2024 chose nursing professor Becky Swambar to deliver the faculty address.

Each graduate receives two guest tickets for the ceremony and celebration in A. F. Siebert Chapel, part of a weekend-long Commencement schedule. A live stream will be available beginning at 7 p.m. May 17 for those who can’t attend in person.