The Edmond Sun
Three Edmond graduates are among Oklahoma State University’s Top Twenty Freshmen Men and Women for 2012.
The three students, now OSU sophomores, are Andrew Cole, Leah Underwood and Philip White.
The students are selected for their scholarship, community service, campus involvement and outstanding leadership during their freshman year.
Cole is the son of Kemp and Keven Cole, has a 3.75 and graduated from Edmond North. He is majoring in mechanical engineering.
A Chesapeake Scholar, Cole was also an active member in OSU’s Honors College and was named a Wellgates Scholar. He was a Freshman Representative Council and on the President’s Leadership Council. He is a member of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) and is a member of a national fraternity.
A few of his community activities include participation in BJ’s Food Pantry, Toys for Cowboys, Relay for Life A&E Volunteer and Red Man Triathlon and Big Event.
He participated in intramural football and golf, Freshman Follies and woodworking.
Cole said he believes that through the contribution of service and leadership to programs such as Cowboy Kitchen he has been able to display his organizational and leadership skills.
“This past year I worked countless hours to get the new program up and running,” he said. “It required my leadership when I organized volunteers to move donated food from certain restaurants to homeless shelters. Over the past year, I have poured myself into Oklahoma State University, the community of Stillwater and my education.”
Cole is a member of Henderson Hills Baptist Church in Edmond.
Underwood is the daughter of Mike and Jamie Underwood, has a 4.0 grade point and is a Physiology/Pre-medicine major. She graduated from Edmond Memorial.
Some of Underwood’s accomplishments include: Freshmen Research Scholar, an active member in OSU’s Honors College, OSU Big Event participant, Relay for Life chapter coordinator and Student Government Association Executive Board.
Many campus activities she was involved in included philanthropic projects through her national social sorority including Junior Greek Life Coffeehouse coordinator and National Women’s Fraternity Lovestruck coordinator, as well as volunteer work within the community including Scott Carter basketball tournament coordinator and volunteer, Beautification of OKC parks volunteer and Rebuild Together volunteer.
Underwood is a member of Sunnybrook Church in Stillwater.
“In my time at OSU, I challenged myself to be a servant and a leader,” she said. “I eagerly strove to play an active role in each organization, while continuing to excel academically.
“Through focusing on philanthropic efforts, I have found that greater joy comes from service to others than to oneself. Ultimately, being involved on campus has allowed me to reciprocate what I have learned and has encouraged me to continually serve others.”
Underwood said she tries to epitomize the values that OSU desires to instill in every student: to achieve academic prestige, to mobilize community outreach and to cultivate professional leadership.
White is the son of Bill White Jr. and Melissa White, is a North graduate, has a 4.0 average and is majoring in aerospace and mechanical engineering. White started with 54 Advanced Placement hours and is considered a second semester junior. He studied at Cambridge, England, during the summer.
A member of the fraternity system, White was Outstanding Greek New Member Finalist for 2012. He was an active member of the OSU Honors College Program and admitted into W.W. Allen Scholars Program by the College of Engineering.
He was selected as Athletic Alliance (SGA) Committee Member in Fall 2011 and Co-Vice Chair of Athletic Alliance (SGA) in Spring 2012 for Academic Year 2012-13, and he was a counselor for Camp Cowboy in Spring 2012.
He was elected as vice president for his fraternity pledge class and social chair for social fraternity in spring 2012, Greek Week Chair and Freshman Follies director for his social fraternity.
White worked with Stillwater Parks, Events, and Recreation second- and third-grade boys basketball as coach, Food Bank of OKC, Harvest Carnival and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oklahoma as a mentor for a seventh-grader.
He participated in Freshmen Follies, and Intramural Flag Football, and Intramural 5 on 5 Basketball.
He is a member of Crown Heights Christian Church in Oklahoma City.
“As a fourth-generation Oklahoma State Cowboy, I have been attached to this university since birth,” White said. “At age 8 I was regularly attending football and basketball games with my father. Those early experiences laid the foundation for what became my love for Oklahoma State University. Once I set foot onto campus as a freshman I chose to devote not only my love but my actions into Oklahoma State.
“Nothing has been more rewarding than to affect and be affected by my university in the positive way I have experienced.”
Phil said he has invested much time and passion into showing his love for the university.
All 40 of the students will continue with an interview process with the Achafoa Chapter of Mortar Board at OSU that will help determine the selection of the Top Ten Freshmen Men and Top Ten Freshmen Women be announced at a later date.
The top 10 winners will be formally recognized, along with their families, during a ceremony on Oct. 27, in the Willard Living Room at OSU, and later in the day on the field at the OSU-TCU football game.
The annual top freshmen selection is one of several events sponsored annually by the Achafoa Chapter of Mortar Board, which was founded at OSU in 1930 by 12 senior women. Each year, members sell Mortar Board calendars to their fellow students at OSU, and funds raised allow the chapter to sponsor events and support several local and area philanthropies.