Sorority honors RU sister with national award
Paige Waddell '13 made her mark at Radford University with impressive performances in academics, leadership and community service. Now a national recognition from her sorority has capped her college career.
Waddell is one of only six members of Delta Zeta nationwide to receive the Grace Mason Lundy Award, presented to senior members who throughout their college years have given greatest evidence of loyalty, devotion and service to their chapters and to the sorority.
"I feel so honored that they would recognize me and that I am the first person from Radford to get it," Waddell said of her award.
Waddell, who graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in communication sciences and disorders at the 2013 Spring Commencement, joined the RU Greek system as a freshman. Although she had not planned to join a sorority, the friendly, welcoming outreach from members of Delta Zeta persuaded her, she said.
"As a Delta Zeta I made real friendships, and I learned about leadership and working with other people," Waddell said. "We bring a lot to the school just by living through our values."
Through stellar academics, philanthropy and loyalty to RU's Xi Delta chapter, Waddell became an exemplary Delta Zeta, serving as the chapter's academics chair in her junior year. During her tenure, the chapter’s GPA rose from last among RU Panhellenic sororities in spring 2011 to first that fall. In her senior year she served as chapter president.
In addition to her Greek involvement, Waddell was a two-time peer instructor in the Honors Academy, a student ambassador for the Waldron College of Health and Human Services, an Honors Academy Highlander Scholar and a work-study student in the Department of History.
Waddell was recommended for the national Delta Zeta award by Steve Lerch, interim coordinator of student retention and faculty academic advisor for the Xi Delta chapter. Besides her achievements, Lerch said, he was impressed by her humility and poise. When Waddell was one of the 11 recipients of the 2012 Outstanding Student Award, she kept it so quiet that faculty members she was close to found out only through campus newsletters, he said.
"She is so bright, talented and hard-working that she could easily deal with her fellow students in a condescending way, but her approach has inevitably been to diminish her own achievements even as she helps others improve, always with a smile and a kind word," Lerch said. "She is a wonderful student and person and a model Delta Zeta, and she is most deserving of receiving the Grace Mason Lundy Award."
First given at the 1948 Delta Zeta Convention, the award was established in recognition of Grace Mason Lundy's many years of service in the sorority's national offices, including terms as national president and national historian. Award winners have demonstrated outstanding loyalty and service to the sorority and set standards of success for their Delta Zeta sisters.
New graduate Waddell said she is keeping her eyes open for chances to stay involved with Delta Zeta. She will attend East Tennessee State University in the fall to pursue a doctorate in audiology, hoping eventually to work with adults and children as an audiologist in a clinical setting.
For now, she has a moment to relax and reflect on leaving her alma mater. "I love Radford, so this is bittersweet," she said. "My time here was amazing. I'm going to miss my friends."
Learn more about Radford University at www.radford.edu.