Creighton University College of Arts and Sciences and Heider College of Business graduate Hunter Allen, Dallas, Texas; Heider College of Business graduate Doug McDermott, Omaha, Neb.; and College of Nursing graduate Sarah Seifert, White Bear Lake, Minn., received the prestigious Spirit of Creighton Award at the University’s commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 17.
The Spirit of Creighton Award is given annually to graduates who exemplify the best qualities of the University founders. Recipients are honored for their initiative, enterprise, academic achievement and outstanding character traits.
Allen epitomizes the qualities and character of what the award signifies. Fellow students, faculty and staff describe him as a man for and with others, who takes participation and commitment to a new level. As a student coordinator of the Freshman Leadership Program, he was a role model of leadership, enhancing the programs offered and mentoring hundreds of new students. One nominator said, “He instills confidence in people and creates an atmosphere of positivity wherever he goes.”
Allen excelled academically and was consistently named to the dean’s list while pursuing two majors and serving as a teaching assistant in mathematics. He held leadership positions in Phi Delta Theta fraternity, campus ministry and as a community activist. He also found time to care for others through participation in fall and spring service trips and weekly volunteering at the Jesuit Academy and Precious Memories Daycare.
His impact has not gone unnoticed. He was named Creighton Students Union Mission Coordinator; “Mr. BlueJay” at Homecoming 2012; and Freshman Leadership Program Student of the Year in 2011.
Almost every superlative has been used to describe the achievements of McDermott on the basketball court. He was named national player of the year by 14 different groups; owns the top three single–season scoring marks in the University’s history; was a consensus All-American for three years; and is one of three players in NCAA history to score more than 3,000 points and have 1,000 rebounds in a career. Arguably no student has done more to magnify Creighton University on a national stage.
A remarkable representative of the University, McDermott continually credits teammates, coaches, professors and classmates for his success. As one nominator put it, “I have seen no student more decorated because of his accomplishments, yet more humble in personality. Doug has represented the Creighton spirit to millions, with intelligence, humility and generosity.”
McDermott takes his role as student seriously, excelling in academics and in service. He makes time to give back to the local community, visiting hospitals, nursing homes and local schools. His participation in activities to raise money for worthy causes is well-documented. He graciously makes time for fans -- especially youngsters -- and has been a kind and compassionate ambassador for Creighton.
Seifert’s diversity of interests is exceptional, given the demands of her nursing studies. She is a leader in her sorority, Pi Beta Phi, a retreat director, and a mentor with Leadership Scholars. She is a member of the Creighton Students Union, Nursing Senate, Student Nurses Association, the Creighton Student Philanthropy Committee and more, bringing management acumen and leadership skills to each.
Spiritually centered, she gives tirelessly of her time and talent and has participated in service trips and as a Eucharistic Minister. She has worked with pediatric cancer patients and alongside other Creighton health science students in the Dominican Republic. She is consistently named to the dean’s list; is a scholarship recipient; and is a member of Alpha Sigma Nu, Sigma Theta Rau International, and the Iota Tau Creighton Chapter of the National Honor Society for Nursing.