Honors Day Ceremony Recognizes Bowdoin's Best

Story posted May 08, 2003

On Wednesday, May 7, Bowdoin College held its seventh annual Honors Day Ceremony to present awards to students who have distinguished themselves both in and out of the classroom. The ceremony was held at Pickard Theater, Memorial Hall.

Following President Barry Mills's welcome, Marc J. Hetherington delivered the Honors Day address. Hetherington, assistant professor of government, gave a talk titled "The Assets and Responsibilities of Achievement."

"Standing out academically at a place like Bowdoin where everyone is a strong student suggests two characteristics, one more important that other," Hetherington said. "The less important characteristic is just plain smarts. All of you came here with a certain amount of God-given talent.... But talent, even at its high end, is certainly not enough.... Those who achieve at the highest level must be dedicated workers."

Hetherington pointed out that students' past successes suggest a successful future. "Especially for those of you who are finishing your Bowdoin careers in the coming weeks, there is probably a fair amount of trepidation in the air.... Let me comfort you a bit. Your future is bright. Since you succeeded here, you will succeed in the future. Chances are you all will do more than fine."

But Hetherington's goal was not to tell the assembled students how great they are. "I came to challenge you. I came here to tell you that with achievement comes responsibility. In a 21st century way, you are the Best and the Brightest. And, we as a society have rarely needed the best and the brightest more than we do today. We have so many big problems to solve."

We want the most capable people working to solve those problems, he said. "The students being honored today have demonstrated both the talent and the drive to make a difference, but you can't become a bystander now and expect to shape the future.... Achievers have the responsibility to fashion the solutions and lead others to help implement them. Realize, too, that you are not the only talented young people in the world.... There may even be a few who are more capable. You might ask 'why can't I leave the heavy lifting to them?' The reason is simple. Those other people are not you. Each person...brings to the table certain values and preferences about which problems should be solved and, more importantly perhaps, how they should be solved.... You must not leave the heavy lifting to others because your ideas might be marginalized, at best, or lost, at worst."

Following Hetherington's address, students were recognized for winning national awards (students listed are Class of 2003 unless noted otherwise).

Twenty-four members of the Class of 2003 have been elected to Phi Beta Kappa, a national honorary fraternity open to top scholars of the graduating class:

Dominique Chantale Alepin
Scott Anthony Barbuto
Elizabeth Anne Barney
Erica Michelle Bellamy
Sare Stephanie Bodnar
Leah Dania Christensen
Angela Rose Commito
Amanda Leese Cowen
Hannah Wood Curtis
Aaron Lee Donohoe
Andrew Thomas Dunn
Liesl Finn
Maggie Ann Fritz-Morkin
Nicholas Sharpe Hiebert
Abbie Ann Klein
Jennifer Rita Laraia
Noah Baker Long
Matthew Harry Magenheim
Diana K.B. O'Donnell
Travis Adam Patten
Katherine Jane Roboff
Jill Meredith Shirey
Monica Lynn Skoge
Alison Dian Sylvester

Four seniors earned Fulbright Teaching Awards. Fulbrights provide funding for study or teaching abroad for one year to promote cross-cultural interaction and increase mutual understanding. Todd Allan Buell will teach next year in Austria, while Bethany Catherine Dittmar, Mark William Lutte, and Matthew Butterfield Roberts will all teach in Germany.

William Lathrop Klemm '04 is the recipient of a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded to highly qualified students who intend to pursue careers in the fields of science, mathematics or engineering. Klemm is a physics major who plans to pursue a Ph.D. in theoretical physics.

N. Joel Moser '04 has been awarded a Harry S. Truman Scholarship. The $30,000 merit-based grant is awarded to undergraduate students who wish to attend graduate or professional school in preparation for careers in government. Moser, a government and German major, is currently studying in Berlin.

Alison Ashley Rau '04 is the recipient of a Morris K. Udall Foundation Undergraduate Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded to students working in fields related to the environment. Rau is majoring in environmental studies and economics, with a minor in Asian studies. Margaret M. Boyle '05 received honorable mention from the Udall Foundation.

Arthur Dehon Middleton '01 has been awarded a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship. The Watson Fellowship is given to college graduates of unusual promise to pursue an independent research project outside the United States for one year after graduation. An English and government major, Middleton will travel to Ireland, Scotland, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and South Africa for his project "Falconry: Ancient and Modern."

Craig McEwen, dean for academic affairs, announced the winners of the Bowdoin College Research Awards. Over 60 students, representing all class years, were asked to stand and be honored.

Craig Bradley, dean of student affairs, presented Commencement Awards and awards of general scholarship.

Gloria W. Shen received the Goodwin Commencement Prize, and Tyler Cowan Lange was awarded the Class of 1868 Prize. Both students will give Commencement addresses. George Taylor Hubbard Jr. received the DeAlva Stanwood Alexander first prize and will speak at Baccalaureate; Julian Yale Waldo received the DeAlva Stanwood Alexander second prize, and is the Commencement speaker alternate.

Noah Baker Long was named recipient of the Brooks-Nixon Prize as the best Bowdoin candidate for selection as a Rhodes scholar.

Paige M. Contreras-Gould '04 and Emily Rose Scott '04 received the Dorothy Haythorn Collins Award, which honors a student "who has achieved academic and general excellence in his or her chosen major" at the end of the junior year.

President Mills presented Nicholas Sharpe Hiebert with the Andrew Allison Haldane Cup. This cup is given to a member of the senior class who demonstrates outstanding qualities of leadership and character.

Scott Anthony Barbuto and Elizabeth Anne Barney were awarded the Lucien Howe Prize, given by the faculty to a member or members of the senior class who, as undergraduates, showed the "highest qualities of conduct and character."

Abbie Ann Klein was presented with the President's Award. This award, inaugurated in 1997 by Robert H. Edwards, recognizes a student's exceptional personal achievements and uncommon contributions to the College.

Extracurricular awards were given to students who have demonstrated exemplary leadership and character during their time at Bowdoin. Departmental awards were presented to those students who excelled in particular fields of study.

The one faculty award presented during the ceremony was the Sydney B. Karofsky Award for Junior Faculty. The Karofsky Prize, given annually to a member of the faculty who "best demonstrates the ability to impart knowledge, inspire enthusiasm, and stimulate intellectual curiosity," was awarded to Rachel Beane, assistant professor of geology. Click here for more on the Karofsky Prize.

The Honors Day ceremony opened with the students entering Pickard Theater in a procession led by the Bowdoin College World Music Ensemble, who performed an Afro-Cuban rhythm and song. Later in the program Ursus Verses performed an interlude, and led the singing of the Alma Mater.

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