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Nov. 24, 2014
By Alexandra Mortallaro, media relations assistant
Northwest Missouri State University student Lauren Bolt receives no course credit or pay for her position as a Bearcat Marching Band assistant. She does it solely out of her love for the group.
She is so well-respected by members of the Bearcat Marching band that her peers nominated her to receive the Alfred Sergel Award, the highest annual award given by the Bearcat Marching Band. The award is given to those who display the highest levels of dedication and leadership to the band.
“For this to happen with a student who does not march or play an instrument is extraordinary,” said Director of Athletic Bands Dr. Kathryn Strickland. “The students adore her, and she works incredibly well with our staff.”
Before she received the title of Bearcat Marching Band assistant, Bolt’s passion for the group ignited when she was a Northwest freshman. Bolt, a senior physical education major from Independence, Mo., befriended some of the band members and immediately took an interest in the program. She began regularly attending practices and participating in game-day activities.
“The Bearcat Marching Band is full of people who take you in with arms wide open and make you feel a part of something that most people don't get to see,” Bolt said.
Last season, when the Bearcat football team headed for the NCAA Division II National Championship in Alabama, Bolt traveled with the band. She helped with meals, loaded and unloaded equipment, and picked up after band members.
Her hard work and dedication did not go unnoticed. Strickland invited Bolt to work with the band this fall as an unpaid assistant.
Bolt carries a wide-range of responsibilities that include moving equipment, updating the Bearcat Marching Band’s social media accounts, setting up and tearing down rehearsals, distributing materials to students, labeling and handing out drill charts, organizing meals and filling water coolers.
“Thanks to Lauren the presence of the Bearcat Marching Band has exploded across campus,” said band member Kyle Hyde. “I believe I speak for the Bearcat Marching Band when I say that although she doesn't play an instrument, she is just as much a member as anyone else.”
Bolt is recognized for being an outstanding photographer and has increased the social media presence for the Bearcat Marching Band. She also captured video of the programs and halftime shows.
“Her photos are displayed on the lobby TVs in the fine arts building and on the department display board that is used at recruiting events,” Strickland said. “Her photographs have been great for morale among our members as well. They help to make everyone feel noticed and important, a difficult task in such a large group.”
Just as Bolt has been inspired by the band, she has made a lasting impact on the group itself.
“Everyone appreciates the great work she has done for us, including me, and to cap that off with the fact that she is not paid, and does not even want course credit, that she does it for the love of all things Northwest and the Bearcat Marching Band is a testimony to the content of her character,” Strickland said.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468