WHEN Jennifer Rees Brown gathered her family together at Southern Cross University's Coffs Harbour campus for today's graduation ceremony, she was holding on to a big secret.
Some weeks back the new Honours in Psychology student from the School of Health and Human Sciences learned she was among 14 University Medal recipients but hid the news until the presentation.
"The letter came in advance but I decided not to tell anyone so that it would be a surprise," Ms Rees Brown revealed.
"It was a big shock to them but a lovely moment."
Adding to the occasion was the honour of delivering the graduate students' address to the guests which included Chancellor of Southern Cross University, the Hon John Dowd AO QC.
The University Medal is an annual prize to recognise academic excellence.
The Medal is awarded to students who have completed a Bachelor degree with First Class Honours and demonstrated a very high standard of academic achievement at all times.
For Ms Rees Brown, her greatest pleasure was having her parents, husband and children in the audience.
"My parents came up from Port Macquarie to make it three generations in attendance," she said.
"They were amazed when I went back to study so many years after leaving school but overall this has been a real joy."
2012 Southern Cross University Medal winners
School of Arts and Social Sciences
- Julie-Ann Paredes
- School of Education
- Hella Anne Bennett
- Matthew David Neal
- Shaun Hardy
- School of Environmental Science and Management
- Glenn James McMellon
- Niels Nando Rueegger
- Helen Fiona Smith
- School of Health and Human Sciences
- Anja Margaret Draper
- Jeffrey Hodgins
- Kristen Yvonne Holdsworth
- Jennifer Anne Rees Brown
- Lisa Therese Skinner
- School of Law and Justice
- Kim Michelle Galvin
- School of Tourism and Hospitality Management
- Rodney William Caldicott