SOUTHEAST GLENDALE -- A speechless Gerald Sung was greeted with
applause, people shouting “Gerry! Gerry!” and hugs from friends and
family at a special award ceremony Thursday at Glendale High School.
Sung, 18, was the 2002 recipient of Glendale High’s Pat Navolanic
Memorial Award. The award ceremony took place Thursday in front of the
school’s student body, faculty and staff.
The award is considered the most important honor bestowed upon a
Glendale High senior each year and is named for 1963 Glendale High
graduate Pat Navolanic.
Navolanic, an outstanding athlete and 4.0 student, graduated from
Glendale High in 1963. He died in 1966 during spring break of a study
abroad program in France, the victim of a faulty gas heater at the home
in which he was staying.
The school’s National Honor Society created the award in 1966 and has
awarded outstanding seniors ever since. Winners are chosen for physical
and mental skills, leadership and ability to get along with others.
Prudy Nater Kohler, a close friend and classmate of Navolanic’s,
presented the award to Sung and spoke to the audience about her
friendship with Navolanic.
Sung is an All-California Interscholastic Federation player on the
school’s water polo team, active in student government, the school
newspaper and yearbook, and has a 4.23 grade point average.
“I don’t know what to say, but I feel pretty good,” Sung said. “I had
Angela Li, 17, nominated Sung and referred to him as “a filet mignon
in a beef and pork world” in her speech.
“He deserves its. He’s awesome, man,” Angela said.
Sung’s sister, Christine, was the 1998 recipient of the same award and
his brother, Andrew, was a finalist in 2001.
Sung’s father, Kwan, said the family probably would celebrate with
filet mignon at a bistro in Beverly Hills.
“I try to guide him the best I can, but he will be what he wants to
become. He’s a good kid,” Kwan Sung said.
Finalists in the 2002 Pat Navolanic Memorial Award ceremony were
seniors Nicole Abranian, Andrew Lai, Jonathan Lee, Oshin Nazarian,
Evelina Oganesyan, Erin Powell and Sung.
Close friends of each finalist gave personal introductions of each
senior and showed brief slide shows with pictures of finalists at various
stages of their life.