The graduating Classes of 2016 were recognized at the annual Academic Achievement Ceremony, held at the Robert A. Bristol ’31 Field House on Saturday, May 14, prior to the 191st Commencement of Hobart College and the 105th Commencement of William Smith College.
“During this busy weekend, we take time to honor and commend your academic excellence and your critical engagement with the pressing challenges of our world,” President Mark D. Gearan told graduating seniors. “Thank your families who helped you long before you arrived on Seneca Lake, acknowledge the critical role they played in your lives before HWS, and take great pride in your achievements here at Hobart and William Smith.”
Provost and Dean of Faculty Titilayo Ufomata, who presided over the ceremony, announced the conferral of Latin praise that was presented by William Smith Dean Catherine Gallouet and Hobart Dean Eugen Baer P’95, P’97 to more than 150 seniors who earned grade point averages above 3.5.
Ufomata also announced the Technos International Prize recipients, Ema Sylvia Johnson ’16 and Alexander Lee Sanford ’16.
Since 1993, the Technos International Prize has symbolized the close ties between Hobart and William Smith Colleges and the Tanaka Ikueikai Educational Trust and Technos College of Tokyo, Japan. Awarded to one Hobart and one William Smith student, the prize recognizes recipients’ outstanding academic achievement and contributions to furthering international understanding and exchange.
Associate Professor of Biology Kristy Kenyon reflected on the historical roots of the Honors program, its academic rigor and the accomplishments of this year’s 29 Honors recipients.
“As any of these students can tell you, completing an Honors project requires planning, careful scheduling, and personal initiative to complete each component. It also requires creativity in thought, deep intellectual exploration, and a discernible spark of ingenuity,” she said. “We certainly hope and expect that as you go forth into the post-collegiate world, you will continue a life marked by curiosity, consequential work, independent thinking and creativity, all of which were displayed in your Honors projects.”
Associate Professor of Economics Judith McKinney announced this year’s Phi Beta Kappa inductees, including seven juniors and 21 seniors, with an additional three members of the Classes of 2016 who were inducted last year as juniors.
“Our new members join a long and proud tradition,” McKinney said, noting that each student was selected “based on your exceptionally strong academic record and on the breadth of your individual program of study. Every member of this group of exceptional students demonstrates a flexible and generous intellectual vitality. I hope that you will continue to nurture it in yourselves as you begin ‘life after college,’ inspiring colleagues, families, and friends with your curiosity about the world and your passion for the life of the mind.”
Director of the MAT Program and an Associate Professor of Education Mary Kelly praised the nine Masters of Arts in Teaching students, who “will be doing great work out there in the world and will have a positive impact on the lives of children and future generations,” Kelly said.
“As a faculty member, I can attest to the rewarding experience working with each of these students, and we acknowledge the long-standing support of our students’ loved ones, families and friends without whom they would not be here today,” she said.