Meet the new Man and Woman of the Year

The 2013 Man and Woman of the Year are junior Drew Bonner and senior Lauren Durano. The pair was presented at Songfest Monday night, along with nine finalists.

“I’m definitely very honored,” Durano said. “Every other candidate was completely stellar, and they all deserved it so much.”

Durano, a double major in Economics and Marketing, holds leadership positions in Delta Gamma, Barton International Group and Order of the Omega. She previously participated in Student Government Association, and has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and Envision.

“I’m definitely very honored,” Durano said. “I’ve known a lot of the past winners and it’s very humbling to be considered as on the same level as them.”

As the winners, Durano and Bonner will each receive a $650 scholarship, and the five men and four women finalists will each receive a $300 scholarship.

A record number of students, 39 women and 18 men applied for this year’s award. To be eligible, students must have at least a 3.0 GPA, completed 60 credit hours, and be enrolled in at least six credit hours this semester. Each applicant submitted three essays and a resume. Eleven faculty and staff judged the applications and hosted interviews to determine the winners.

“All nine of our finalists were outstanding,” said Nick Messing, Coordinator of Leadership and Service Learning. Messing facilitated the selection process. “It was very close with the scores this year, and we just had a great group of students this year. We had a great pool of students to pick from.”

Bonner said he thought all of the finalists were equally deserving of the award.

“The fact they had chosen me was very cool, but I thought they could have chosen anyone and it would have been a good choice,” Bonner said.

Bonner is majoring in biology. He’s a WSU Shocker Navigator, tutor, resident assistant, and orientation leader.

“I wanted to give back to the university,” he said about his involvement with Wichita State. He said the individuals who recruited him were heavily involved in Wichita State. “I wanted to live up to the example they had set and be able to leave my mark on the university as well.”

Bonner has held leadership positions with the Student Ambassador Society and Sigma Phi Epsilon, and has volunteered with the Sedgwick County Zoo and Habitat for Humanity.

“It was a heck of an honor to be awarded Man of the Year,” Bonner said. “Hopefully over the next year I continue to prove that I’m worthy of that.”