Campus News

Honors Day Ceremony Recognizes Bowdoin's Best

Story posted May 13, 2004

On Wednesday, May 12, Bowdoin College held its eight annual Honors Day ceremony to recognize students for their achievements and contributions to the College both in and out of the classroom. The ceremony was held at Pickard Theater, Memorial Hall.

In his welcoming remarks, President Barry Mills commended the gathered students for being "committed to excellence in what you do" – and for taking the time to experience the joy to be found in pursuing something for which they have a passion. The ceremony, he said, was an opportunity to "celebrate that joy."

Following President Barry Mills's welcome, Rachel J. Beane delivered the Honors Day address. Beane, assistant professor of geology, gave a talk titled "Honoring the 'Offer of the College' by Losing Ourselves in Generous Enthusiasms." (Click here to read the full text of Beane's talk.)

Beane quoted the Offer of the College, penned by Bowdoin's seventh president William DeWitt Hyde, which remains a guiding principle at the College:

To be at home in all lands and all ages; to count Nature a familiar acquaintance, and Art an intimate friend; to carry the keys of the world's library in your pocket, and feel its resources behind you in whatever task you undertake; to make hosts of friends...who are to be leaders in all walks of life; to lose yourself in generous enthusiasms and cooperate with others for common ends.

"For me, this Offer speaks volumes," Beane said, and in her talk she went on to focus on one particular aspect: to lose yourself in generous enthusiasms.

"To me, this is an encouragement to pursue what we choose with great passion," she said. "We are fortunate at Bowdoin to be surrounded by a supportive community that permits us to lose ourselves in these enthusiasms. Many of you are being honored here this evening, because you have brought great passion to what you do. You have found a discipline, a project, an idea, or a cause that sparked your interest and you pursued it."

She described losing herself in her own work while doing research.

"I walk across the rocks and try to learn what happened on our earth millions of years ago. Usually, walking across the rocks is not enough for me." She wants to look the rocks "eye-to-eye" and examine samples under the microscope.

Research trips have taken her around the world. "I return from these research trips with heavy luggage full of rocks, with stories about my travels, and with new ideas about geology. I use these rocks, stories and ideas in the classes I teach, because I know that I will be excited when I talk about them. This enthusiasm will allow me to convey more, and students to learn more than otherwise would be possible."

Beane encouraged each student present to consider what their own passion is, and to consider how that passion might be shared to benefit others.

"With your enthusiasm, your energy, and your ideas you have made an impact in our community! Let us continue to honor the Offer of the College and lose ourselves in generous enthusiasms. To bring passion to all we choose to do. To permit our interests to influence our choices. This is how we bring more than we thought possible to a pursuit, and enjoy it while we do it."

Following Beane's address, students were recognized for winning national awards (students listed are Class of 2004 unless noted otherwise).

Eighteen members of the Class of 2004 and one member of the Class of 2005 have been elected to Phi Beta Kappa, a national honorary fraternity open to top scholars of the graduating class:

Jed William Atkins
Gregory Stephen Bangser
Leah Jo Bressack
Eric Nicholas Chambers
Ana Katherine B.F.D. Conboy
Alissa Annie Cordner
Elizabeth Lisa Denby
Elspeth Lynnelle Faiman
Todd A. H. Greenwood
Robin Louise Jensen
Ole Frieder Kersten '05
William Lathrop Klemm
Yelena Lukatsky
Elisabeth Heald McCaffrey
Kate Woodward McCalmont
Norman Joel Moser
Jessie Tova Solomon-Greenbaum
Emily Lauder Wilson
David John Yankura

Five 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. Samantha Carrie Altschuler, Mark Paul Drauschke and Hannah Claire Tucker will teach in Germany, Raymond Thomas Finn III will teach in France, and Aaron Stansbury Hess will teach in South Korea.

Three students have won Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships, which are awarded to highly qualified students who intend to pursue careers in the fields of science, mathematics or engineering. Recipients are Catherine Amalia Del Vecchio '05, Ian Alexander Morrison '05, and Laura Jones Perovich '05.

Jed William Atkins and Gilman Clough Barndollar have been awarded Keasbey Scholarships. The Keasbey Scholarship offers funding to American students wishing to pursue graduate studies in Great Britain.

James Mead Wilkins received a Marshall Scholarship. The Marshall Scholarship program brings Americans of high ability to study at a British university for up to three years.

Juliana May Grinvalsky was recognized for having last year won a National Science Foundation/New England Wild Flower Society Research Fellowship in Conservation Biology.

Margaret M. Boyle '05 is the recipient of a Morris K. Udall Foundation Undergraduate Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded to students working in fields related to the environment. She received honorable mention from the Udall Foundation last year.

Craig McEwen, dean for academic affairs, announced the winners of the Bowdoin College Research Awards. Over 90 students representing all class years were honored.

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

Norman Joel Moser received the Goodwin Commencement Prize, and Alison Ashley Rau was awarded the Class of 1868 Prize. Both students will give Commencement addresses. Shanique Brown received the DeAlva Stanwood Alexander first prize and will speak at Baccalaureate; Allison Leigh Milld received the DeAlva Stanwood Alexander second prize, and is the Commencement speaker alternate.

James Mead Wilkins was named recipient of the Brooks-Nixon Prize as the best Bowdoin candidate for selection as a Rhodes scholar.

Monica Guzman '05 and Howard A. Law IV '05 received the Dorothy Haythorn Collins Award, which honors a student "who has achieved academic and general excellence in their chosen majors" at the end of the junior year.

President Mills presented Kathryn Leach 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.

Barbara Falk Condliffe was awarded the Lucien Howe Prize, given by the faculty to a member of the senior class who, as and undergraduate, showed the "highest qualities of conduct and character."

Elliott Scott Wright 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 Arielle Saiber, assistant professor of romance languages, who is currently a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute.

Upon announcing the Karofsky award, Craig McEwen took the opportunity to join President Mills in recognizing all Bowdoin faculty members for their wonderful efforts and exceptional work.

The Meddiebempsters were on hand during the ceremony to sing "Southern Cross" and the Alma Mater.

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