Academic Achievement Ceremony Honors Student Scholars
Before a standing room only crowd in Albright Auditorium, Colleges President Mark D. Gearan congratulated graduating seniors, their mentors and their families for the outstanding academic achievements realized by the Classes of 2008.
“The awards and honors that we will bestow upon these graduating seniors is a testament of their hard work, intelligence and ingenuity,” said Gearan in his opening remarks.”We also know that it’s a statement about the Hobart and William Smith faculty who have guided and goaded, challenged and encouraged these seniors to seek new inquiries, more rigorous critical thinking and new perspectives for their dauntless passions. Lastly, we recognize all of the parents, grandparents and friends of these students who have supported these soon-to-be graduates long before they came to the Colleges. I hope that in this ceremony, we recognize what you have all done together.”
Joining Gearan in praise of the outstanding students, Provost and Dean of Faculty Teresa Amott presented the Technos International Prize to both Christopher Woytovich ’08 and Jillian LaCroix ’08. The awards, presented on behalf of the Tanaka Ikeuikai Educational Trust, recognize outstanding academic performance and commitment to the cause of international understanding and exchange. Professor of Chemistry and Honors Committee Chair David Craig individually recognized each of the 20 graduating seniors who completed extensive independent research or artistic projects, passed a thorough written field examination and defended their work in an oral examination as part of their Honors projects.
“We recognize 20 of our best and brightest students who found a capstone experience in the research and creativity that is required to complete an honors project,” said Craig, who gave each student a bound copy of their thesis.
Kristen Welsh, assistant professor of Russian area studies and president of the Zeta of New York Chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, called out the 2008 Phi Beta Kappa inductees and the seniors who were inducted as juniors. Each of the 27 students, “excelled academically, engaged in intellectual inquiry outside of their discipline and displayed a pervasive love of learning,” said Welsh.
Following the Phi Beta Kappa inductions, William Smith Dean Debra DeMeis and Hobart Dean Eugen Baer recognized those seniors graduating with Latin praise. “The conferral of Latin Praise is the highest recognition the faculty can bestow on a student for general academic excellence during his or her college career,” said DeMeis.
The Classes of 2008 will include more than 100 students who’ve earned Latin Praise: 12 summa cum laude, 39 magna cum laude and 61 cum laude. In closing the ceremony, Amott led the entire audience in a standing ovation for the outstanding academic achievements the students had all worked so hard to bring to fruition.