Duane Bonifer  |   Published April 15, 2020

Meet Trustees’ Scholars Makayla Jibben and Celeste Lythgoe

Makayla Jibben and Celeste Lythgoe are the Trustees’ Scholars in the Class of 2024. The Trustees’ Scholarship recognizes first-time Monmouth freshmen from across the nation who have demonstrated exceptional academic achievement and leadership in their schools and communities.
  • Makayla Jibben of Green Valley, Ill., and Celeste Lythgoe of Lafayette, Colo., are the Trustees’ Scholars in the incoming freshman class.

MONMOUTH, Ill. – Students with goals of becoming a high school English and history teacher and a pediatric oncologist have been named Trustees’ Scholars in Monmouth College’s incoming freshman class.

Makayla Jibben of Green Valley, Ill., and Celeste Lythgoe of Lafayette, Colo., received the prestigious honor, which recognizes first-time Monmouth freshmen from across the nation who have demonstrated exceptional academic achievement and leadership in their schools and communities. Trustees’ Scholars receive a full-tuition award renewable for up to four years. Awarded to up to two students annually, each Trustees’ Scholar has the opportunity to participate in the Honors Program, research with faculty, experience special internships and lead community service projects.

Jibben, who plans to major in biology and pursue a career in pediatric oncology, said that the ability to forge a personal relationship with her Monmouth professors attracted her to the College.

“I attend a high school with only 300 students, so I have always been able to have a personal connection with my teachers and classmates,” said Jibben, who attends Midwest Central High School and is the daughter of Jennifer and Curt Jibben. “I could tell that is what I’m going to get at Monmouth – I will be able to have that personal connection, and I won’t be a number to my professors.”

Jibben has appeared in her high school’s fall musical, is a three-year member of the yearbook staff and is a senior editor this year, and has been president for three years of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America.

Jibben said she was also impressed with Monmouth’s Summer Opportunity for Intellectual Activity (SOFIA), which allows select incoming freshmen to engage in faculty-directed research.

“It’s very impressive, and it’s an opportunity I wouldn’t get at another college,” she said.

Monmouth appealed to Lythgoe because she can prepare to be a high school teacher while also staying involved in theatre, which has held her interest since eighth grade.

“I love both English and history, so I hope to teach high school English and history,” said Lythgoe, who is a senior at Peak To Peak Charter School and is the daughter of Amy Lythgoe. “I loved my tour of the theatre program and meeting the program’s professors. I was really impressed with its facilities.”

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