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Accounting major Courtney Mainwaring was the sole graduate to earn recognition as the senior with the highest cumulative grade point index.
Accounting major Courtney Mainwaring was the sole graduate to earn recognition as the senior with the highest cumulative grade point index.

2018 high index senior

Photo by Kathy F. Atkinson

UD accounting major Courtney Mainwaring earns the high index senior recognition

It is an honor only few achieve by the end of their time at the University of Delaware. This year, honors accounting major Courtney Mainwaring was the sole graduate to earn recognition as the senior with the highest cumulative grade point index.

She was awarded an honors bachelor of science degree in accounting with a minor in entrepreneurial studies at UD's Commencement May 26.

The recognition goes to the student with the highest grade point index – a perfect 4.0 – earned in full-time study toward the degree, with the highest number of earned credits taken while in residence at UD.

What’s her secret?

“A lot of effort,” Mainwaring said. “I’m not one of those people that just knows things.... I go to every class. I study a lot. I made a lot of friendship sacrifices in terms of social activities.”

But the hard work has paid off. Mainwaring said she is honored by this achievement. She has also secured a job. In the coming weeks, she will be moving to Washington, D.C,. to start work with Deloitte as a business technology analyst.

Blue Hen pride was already part of the DNA of Mainwaring’s family. Her grandparents are Double Dels, and her father is also a UD alumnus. Originally from Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, and having grown up in Greenville, Delaware, Mainwaring said it made a lot of sense for her to come to UD.

She initially chose accounting because of her love for math and business. She soon realized accounting was not quite what she expected it to be, but decided it would still be a good supplement to her entrepreneurial studies minor and dreams to one day own a business.

Outside of academic studying, Mainwaring also took advantage of the many opportunities available to her. The number of activities she packed into her four years at UD are too many to list here, but she highlighted a few.

While she was a sophomore, she traveled to Cape Cod to represent the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics at an event with the Produce Marketing Association. That winter, she also went to Italy to study philosophy. During her junior year, she spent four months in Barcelona with a host family. Lastly, she studied meditation and mindfulness in the corporate world as part of her Plastino Scholars project.  

One of the biggest takeaways Mainwaring learned while at UD was to be open to new people and experiences.

“Caring less about the boxes that people are put into and more about the learning behind it and discovering people’s true self,” she said. “I just feel like I’m more open and more grateful, because people have been so giving to me. I really appreciate what they’ve done for me and I want to give back.”

While Mainwaring is incredibly honored by the award, she said she may have oversacrified on building relationships. She said she doesn’t want to discourage people from striving for the award, but she wants to emphasize the importance of finding a balance between academics and social life.

“I am so honored for this achievement, but do I look back and say I could have taken more time to appreciate my relationships, 100 percent,” Mainwaring said.

So she advises the incoming class of 2022 to be mindful and get a well-rounded experience.

“The most beautiful things in your life are sometimes the smallest things,” Mainwaring said. “So enjoy the moment and be present. Be present with those relationships because that will bring the richness.”   


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