Community News and Notes

Sawyer Gillilan

Sawyer Gillilan

Kristi Isaak of Soldotna has been named to the Honor List at Northwestern State University of Louisiana in Natchitoches for the Spring 2014 semester. Students on the Honor List must be enrolled full-time at Northwestern State and have a grade point average of between 3.0 and 3.49.

Sawyer Gillilan of Kenai will become the first from Alaska in seven years to receive DeMolay International’s highest honor, the Degree of Chevalier, the organization announced recently.

Currently, Gillilan is State Master Councilor for DeMolay Alaska, the highest youth leadership position in the state. His role as Alaska’s Master Councilor also makes him a voting member of the International DeMolay Congress. This is the body comprised of youth DeMolay leaders from around the world.

Prior to his selection as Alaska’s Master Councilor, Gillilan held the posts of Master Councilor of the Tikahtnu DeMolay Chapter in Kenai of DeMolay and Master Squire in the Kenai Manor of the Order of the Squires, an order affiliated with DeMolay for boys aged 8-11.

The Chevalier Degree is awarded for exceptional and meritorious service to DeMolay and to the community where the honored DeMolay member resides.

The International Supreme Council, the governing body of DeMolay International, chooses recipients once a year. Only a few DeMolays are chosen each year to receive this honor.

“Sawyer will receive this award because of his work as the youth responsible in re-establishing DeMolay in Alaska after the organization had been inactive for several years,” said Bruce Kling of Anchorage, Executive Director of DeMolay Alaska. “He helped organize Alaska’s first Squires’ Manor in Alaska, and then reorganized Kenai’s Tikahtnu Chapter of DeMolay after it laid dormant for more than 20 years. He has been actively promoting DeMolay in many settings, including speaking about it to numerous adult and youth organizations, community leaders, and youth throughout the state. Through his persistent efforts he has kept the dream of DeMolay alive in Alaska. There is now a new and growing chapter in Juneau, one organizing in Anchorage, and interest spreading to other communities.”

Gillilan, 17, graduated this spring from the Interior Distance Education of Alaska (IDEA) homeschool program, and took classes at Kenai Peninsula College. He will soon travel across the United States and to Europe to continue his studies in psychology.

Gillilan was invested with his honor at a ceremony held Saturday at the Anchorage Masonic Temple. The public is invited.

DeMolay is an international organization for young men from ages 8 through 21 that began more than 90 years ago in response to a need for boys and young men to find positive role models and a supportive environment in which to develop character.

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