Nearly five dozen Hobart and William Smith students were honored at the annual Academic Achievement Awards Ceremony, at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 13 on the Quad.
In his opening remarks, President Mark D. Gearan read from a Newberry Medal-winning children's book, “The End of the Beginning: Being the Adventures of a Small Snail (and an Even Smaller Ant),” by Avi.
In the story, Edward the ant and Avon the snail reach the end of a tree branch and disagree over whether it's the beginning of the sky or the end of the branch. Gearan reminded the students that as rich as their beginning (time at the Colleges) has been, it is just a beginning, and the entire sky is in front of them.
Provost Teresa Amott then introduced Makiko Tanaka, president of the Tanaka Memorial Foundation of New York, who presented the Technos International Prizes for academic achievement and commitment to international understanding to Rebecca H. Merritt '06 of Rochester, an art historty and Asian Languages and Cultures major; and Nandor P. Forgach '06 of Buffalo, an Asian Languages and Cultures major.
Professor Derek Linton of the history faculty, chair of the Committee on Honors, next introduced the seniors who had completed honors projects this year. He explained that honors programs had been a tradition at HWS since the 1940s, and required independent research or an arts project that took two semesters of work, a written examination, and a written thesis or arts project, as well as an hour's oral defense before examiners. He noted that more than half the HWS faculty was involved in honors projects, as faculty advisers or examiners.
This year's students and their projects may be seen at http://www.hws.edu/news/update/showrelease.asp?id=23085.
Kristen Welch of the Russian Area Studies faculty and adviser to the Zeta of New York Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest and more prestigious undergraduate honors organization, followed Linton.
Before introducing the members of the Classes of 2006 and 2007, she reminded the audience that the chapter on the HWS campus was founded in 1871, and is the sixth oldest in the state. She noted that each member had displayed three personal qualities: an ability to work hard, balance, and a sense of passion.
She then introduced the members from William Smith College, all Class of 2006 except as noted: Oluwayemisi Abogan, Nazia Ahmad '07, Lia Blue, Amanda Condello, Emily Corcione, Sarah DeGray, Kathryn Feller,Melissa Fitch, Rebecca Gutwin, Sarah Hauck, Amanda Jantzi, Sarah Kirchoff, Kendra Klein, Suprita Kudesia, Sandra Maroska, Bethany Mundt '07, Karen Newbury, Suzanne Opalka, Frances Parsons, Martha Pigott, Tanya Richvalsky, Leanne Roncolato '07, Carolyn Smith, Gina Trask and Jennifer Zaleski '07; and the members from the Hobart Class of 2006: Nathaniel Bond, Max Macaluso, Brady Mahar and Bryan Ramos.
In her closing remarks, Amott said that by their achievements, these students honor their families, their professors, their friends and classmates, the past recipients of the awards, and these Colleges.