MURRAY, Ky. — Murray State University named Laura Guebert and Charles Graves as the Outstanding Seniors for spring 2018. Students recognized with this honor are known for going above and beyond what is expected of them academically and professionally.

Laura Guebert is the daughter of Don and Barb Guebert from Herrin, Illinois. She will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in History and a minor in English literature.

“This institution has been so instrumental in shaping me into a person of candor and confidence, and to see that transformation recognized so generously is extremely meaningful,” Guebert said. “It shows that people care on an individual level for the growth and progress of a student.”

Guebert is a presidential fellow, student in the Honors sequence and active participant in student research. In addition to defending her Honors thesis in January 2018, she has shared research during Posters-at-the-Capitol, Scholars Week and the Phi Alpha Theta Biennial Convention in New Orleans. She was also hired as an editor for “Steeplechase,” the student-led journal produced by the Office of Research and Creative Activity.

During Guebert’s sophomore year, she spent a semester in Regensburg, Germany, as a part of an education abroad experience. She later returned to Germany in May of 2017 to explore the history and culture of Berlin. Guebert also visited Edinburgh, Scotland, for two weeks in the summer of 2017 to conduct research in the National Records of Scotland alongside Dr. Kathy Callahan, chair for the department of history.

When she was not studying abroad or pursuing research opportunities, Guebert served on residential college councils and as a resident assistant for both Hart College and Elizabeth College. Additionally, Guebert worked as a writing tutor in the Racer Writing Center as well as participated in the Student Government Association and Phi Alpha Theta history honor society.

“It was at this university that I finally figured out exactly how I wanted to spend my adult life through a combination of research opportunities, study abroad experiences and faculty relationships,” Guebert said. “I can’t begin to explain how grateful I am for the presence of the individuals that have made my time here so rewarding and so special. I genuinely don’t believe I could have left any other university quite as prepared or as supported as I do now.”

After graduation, Guebert will be attending Indiana University in Bloomington to pursue a dual master’s degree in history and library science with the goal of becoming a library director to encourage education and outreach in the St. Louis area.

Charles Graves is the son of Ben and Cindy Graves from Murray. He will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics in addition to a minor in Spanish.

“My time at Murray State has been rewarding and educational,” Graves said. “I have had the chance to interact with and learn from a wide variety of people in many different environments. Sometimes I have been the student, sometimes the teacher; sometimes I have been a leader, other times a follower. But, whatever the situation, I have found there is always something new to learn.”

Graves is a student in the Honors College who has held a number of leadership roles on campus. Among those positions are his tenures as treasurer for the Beta Alpha Psi accounting honor society, the Alpha Mu Gamma foreign language honor society and the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia men’s music fraternity. He also held positions as vice president of ritual for the Omicron Delta Kappa leadership honor society and as a first-chair tenor saxophone in the Murray State Jazz Band in fall 2017.

Graves has worked on campus as a teaching assistant for the department of accounting and as a student worker in the department of global languages and theatre arts. He has been involved with Jazz Band, Racer Band and the Euclidean Math Club in addition to the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program through the department of accounting, which offers support in the preparation of income tax returns for the community. He has volunteered with Campus Lights, All Campus Sing and the Language Showcase.

During spring break of 2014, Graves studied abroad in London, England. He has also traveled to and presented at the Beta Alpha Psi National Convention in Anaheim, California. The summer before his senior year, Graves participated in an internship with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation as a bank examiner, working with a team of professionals to complete safety and soundness exams for banks in western Kentucky.

“I have been exposed to many opportunities to network with professionals in my field through my involvement with Murray State, which has served to educate me on many of the possibilities that my degrees provide for the future,” Graves said.

After graduating from Murray State in May, Graves plans to return to the University in the fall to pursue a master’s degree in mathematics. He will also complete four parts of the Uniform CPA Exam during that time. He aspires to a career in the accounting field and hopes to one day obtain a doctorate in accounting.

Commencement services at Murray State will take place May 12 in the CFSB Center with an undergraduate ceremony at 9 a.m. and a graduate and doctoral ceremony at 2 p.m. Tickets will not be required for either ceremony. Use #RacerGraduation on social media to share the commencement experience. Additional information is available at

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