Students from Conway schools were recognized Thursday afternoon in a ceremony commending academic excellence.

The ceremony, a chamber event sponsored by Acxiom with awards sponsored by Central Baptist College, gave graduating seniors who met certain criteria share what their plans are for the future as well as what scholarships they have received to help them make those goals achievable.

"Having worked in higher education before coming to the chamber, I understand what an exciting time this is for not only you but for your parents and your families as well," said Lindsay Wygal, senior vice president of Chamber Operations.

Wygal said the chamber wishes all the graduates luck as they move on to college and hopes they will someday return to Conway.

"I hope that as you go off and pursue your degrees you will come back to Conway and make Conway your home," she said.

Jeff Standridge, chairman of the Chamber Board of Directors, gave the students some advice he said he has learned throughout the last few years. Some of it was things like "take time to smell the roses," "call your mother," "yield to merging traffic" and "vote."

One of the major points Standridge advised students to do was to take time to discover their callings.

"Each of you has a calling," he said. "Each of you was created to do something specific, and I would encourage you to take the time to find out what that is. It’s when our daily actions are in concert with our calling — that which we were designed to do — is when we find true happiness."

The students honored were Matthew Austin, Jon Paul Bradley, Sigan Chen, Morgan Clark, Madison Cole, Laura Craig, Robert Edwards, Blake Farris, Griffin Guinn, Mary Hales, Logan Hampton, Kevin Hemphill, William Henley, Hailey Lachowsky, Emily Luck, Alexandria Mackey, Sidney Meriweather, Robert Powell, Caleb Sackhoff, Mandi Shelton, Slater Smith, Savannah Sparrow, Selene Spatz, Elizabeth Speck and Craig Yrle.

Minimum qualifications for the distinction were students had to be a graduating senior of Conway High School, Conway Christian High School, St. Joseph High School or home schooled in the Conway school district; have a 3.8 cumulative grade point average on a 4.0 scale; and recognized as a recipient of a top scholarship from a four-year college he or she plans to attend, National Merit Finalist or Scholar, accepted at a United States Service Academy, selected as a winner of a state or national scholarship program or recipient of the Governor’s Distinguished Scholarship or Governor’s Scholarship.

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