Killen goes to head of class at UM


A Union native finished at the top of his class when he graduated in May.

Benjamin Scott Killen was among more than 70 University of Mississippi students to receive a 2017 Marcus Elvis Taylor Memorial Medal, the university’s highest academic award. The students were recognized April 6 during UM’s 74th annual Honors Day Convocation at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts.

He later found out that he had the top spot of his class at commencement exercises in May after finishing with a 4.0 grade point average and graduating summa cum laude.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in exercise sciences from Ole Miss’s School of Applied Sciences.

“While I knew that my grades were very high, it was surprising to know that I had finished at the top of my class,” Killen said. “It was a great honor.”

Killen said very few students receive the Taylor Memorial Medal, which is only issued to a select number of students with a grade point average of 3.9 and above.

“Less than one percent of all Ole Miss students receive that medal,” Killen said.

Killen plans to enroll at the University of Mississippi Medical Center to pursue a doctorate of physical therapy. He was a member of Alpha Epsilon Delta Health Professions honors society, as well as Gamma Beta Phi and Phi Kappa Phi Honor Societies. He has also been named to the Chancellor’s Honors List. He is the son of Jimmy and Pam Killen from Union.

Killen said the key to his success has been consistently working hard over his academic career.

“That’s been the key to success,” Killen said.

The Taylor Medals were established at UM in 1904 by Dr. William A. Taylor of Booneville in memory of his son, an honored 1871 alumnus of the university. The award recognizes no more than 1 percent of the student body each year.


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