Four former Conway residents recently received the University of Arkansas Seniors of Significance award.

Madison Cole, Summar Roachell, Molly Evans and Katie Hicks were among 71 graduating seniors the Arkansas Alumni Association honored during an event on Dec. 2.

Evans said the award honored the top 71 senior students of the University, symbolizing the founding year of the university, 1871. She said 300 students were nominated by a faculty or staff member, then they submitted applications and the final group of 71 students represents the top 2 percent of the Class of 2017.

Each nomination, Evans said, was considered and evaluated based on their involvement in campus affairs and their engagement with the school and community.

"I was nominated by a number of my professors," she said. "All of them have had a special impact on my education and have been great role models for me in my career."

Evans said she has worked hard not only in her studies but also in her outreach to the community and other younger students.

"Over the years, I have helped build projects for the community, such as a garden shed for a local elementary school or a pavilion for Crystal Bridges Museum," she said. "I have also served as a mentor many times for first-year students in the design program.

Evans said she believes her deep care for architecture and design and the way both impacts cities and the world is what set her apart from other candidates.

"I love to learn and explore new ideas about how to make the world a better place and instilling that passion into younger students," she said.

Evans said she was honored to be chosen.

"The Fay Jones School of Architecture + Design is the smallest college at the University of Arkansas, so to be recognized as a part of a larger community of students is very exciting," she said. "I love being able to represent Conway for this award. It is my hometown and it’s a great place to live."

Evans said it was great to receive the award alongside three others from Conway.

According to the university’s website, the association holds a three-tier senior awards program with the seniors of significance coming first.

"Each year, faculty, staff and fellow students nominate hundreds of graduating seniors based on academic achievement, leadership skills and substantial extracurricular campus and/or community activities," the website stated. "The 71 students are selected from 400 nominations and represent each University of Arkansas undergraduate academic college."

Cole is a biochemistry major and is minoring in psychology (pre-med) minor; Roachell is a marketing major and is minoring in enterprise resource planning; Evans is an architecture major and is minoring in spanish business; Hicks is an english major and is minoring in spanish (pre-law).