Office of University Communications & Marketing

Caleb Banks, James Cochran Receive Turris Fidelis Keys During Spring Commencement at UNA

May. 11, 2013

FLORENCE, Ala. – Graduating seniors Caleb Banks and James Cochran were the recipients of the coveted Turris Fidelis Key during spring commencement today at Flowers Hall on the University of North Alabama campus.

The Turris Fidelis Key – awarded on the basis of outstanding service to the university as well as superior scholastic achievement – is awarded to up to two UNA seniors at the spring commencement ceremonies.

“This honor is the highest that can be conferred upon a graduating senior,” said David Shields, UNA’s vice president for student affairs. “Recipients are selected by a joint committee of faculty and students.”

Banks, of Florence, is graduating Summa Cum Laude with a 4.0 cumulative grade-point average. He received a bachelor of science degree in entertainment industry, with an emphasis in entertainment business and minors in music and public relations.

During his years at UNA, Banks has been an active leader, working with the LaGrange Society and the George Lindsey UNA Film Festival and serving as a SOAR counselor. He was also a member of the Music and Entertainment Industry Association, PRIDE (Public Relations Individuals Dedicated to Excellence) Student Organization and the Honors Student Organization. He was also a Student Government Association (SGA) senator and president of the SGA’s Freshman Forum.

“Caleb is musically talented,” Shields said. “He has performed in the Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Collegiate Singers and the Florence Camerata, and he has entertained the UNA community through a number of major university events. Caleb’s honors also include membership in the national honor society Phi Kappa Phi, Alpha Lambda Delta and Phi Eta Sigma. He is also a member of the UNA Honors Program. Caleb was selected to be Promising Alumni Recipient and, most recently, he was chosen as a recipient of the 2012-13 Hall of Fall Award.”

Fellow Turris Fidelis recipient Cochran, from Danville, is graduating Summa Cum Laude with a 3.98 grade-point average. He received a bachelor of science degree in public communication with honors in English. During his time at UNA, Cochran has been a member of the LaGrange Society (serving as its 2012-13 commander) and Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, holding the positions of pledge class vice president, public relations chairman and historian. He is also the co-founder of the Once a Runner student organization and was a member of the SGA’s Freshman Forum, receiving the Member of the Year award in 2010.

Cochran’s honors include membership in Phi Kappa Phi, where he served as vice president for the UNA College of Arts and Sciences, and the honor society Phi Eta Sigma, where he served as president from 2010-11. He was also a member of the UNA Honors Program and a recipient of the 2012-13 Hall of Fame Award.

“This year, James wanted to find a way to give back to the university,” Shields said. “He created a philanthropy project called 1,000 Miles Away, in which he ran 1,000 miles over an eight-month period to raise money for a self-established UNA Honors Program Scholarship Fund. As of April, he had raised over $3,100. This fall, James plans to pursue a graduate degree in communications at the University of Georgia.”

Turris Fidelis winner Banks was also a recipient of the spring 2013 Keller Key, awarded to graduating seniors with a perfect 4.0 grade-point average. The Keller Key was also presented to Jesse Faulk, of Elkmont, who graduated Summa Cum Laude with a bachelor of science degree in professional biology and a minor in chemistry.

UNA awarded degrees to 594 students during today’s spring commencement ceremonies. The guest speaker for the occasion was South Sudanese-born Olympic track-and-field athlete Lopez Lomong, one of the so-called “Lost Boys of Sudan,” who served as the flag-bearer for the U.S. during opening ceremonies for the Olympic games in Beijing, China.

High-resolution images of the winners of the Turris Fidelis and Keller Key awards are available for media use on our Photo Gallery at: