Abigail McAllister ’24 named Presidential Medalist

2024 Presidential Medalist Winner Abigail McAllister
2024 Presidential Medalist Winner Abigail McAllister
2024 Presidential Medalist Winner Abigail McAllister

On April 24, Sweet Briar held its annual Student Involvement Recognition Ceremony to celebrate extraordinary contributions to the campus community. We also recognized one member of the senior class as the 2024 Presidential Medalist.

Posted on April 24, 2024

The Presidential Medal is awarded to a senior who has demonstrated exemplary intellectual achievement, in addition to distinction in some or all of the following areas: service to the community, contributions to the arts, enlargement of the College’s global perspective, athletic fitness and achievement, and leadership and contributions to community discourse. The 2024 Presidential Medal recipient is Abigail McAllister ’24 of Richmond, Virginia.

Abigail is a Presidential Scholar and a Legacy Scholar. She is majoring in Engineering, with a minor in Mathematics, and she serves as an Engineering program tutor. Her engineering interests led her to build a self-driving car, create a water level indicator, and design a desk that is ADA and wheelchair accessible that is currently used in our library. Upon graduation, she is starting a position as a mechanical engineer at HII Newport News Shipbuilding in its nuclear division.

Abigail has helped make our community a better place in so many ways. She is passionate about sustainability. She served as a Willits Food Systems Summer Fellow in 2022 and was regularly seen working at the greenhouse as one of our Agriculture & Greenhouse student assistants and selling our produce at community markets. She has taken the lead in helping maintain the apiary, and recently received Apprentice Beekeeper certification from the Virginia State Beekeepers Association. She has been an officer in the Sustainability Club, helping organize its events and grow its membership to more than 200 of her fellow students.

Abigail has enlarged the arts on campus by performing as a singer in and serving as musical director of the a cappella group, the Sweet Tones. She loves to dance and is the president of the Sweet Dancers, the ballroom dancing club; in this role, she has developed strong partnerships with other regional colleges, like Hampden-Sydney and VMI. Abigail has made many additional contributions to our community, including: serving on the Founders’ Day Planning Committee, being the president of Delight Christian Faith Community, and representing the Multicultural Community Council on the Student Events Committee, and more.

Abigail is the model for positive, goal-oriented leadership; she is innovative and can take charge while also being extraordinarily supportive of her fellow students. Undoubtedly, in her life beyond Sweet Briar, Abigail will continue to contribute to any community she is a part of and be a shining example of what Sweet Briar women can do to make a difference in our world.