Campus News

2008 Honors Day Ceremony Recognizes Bowdoin's Best

Story posted May 07, 2008

Bowdoin College held its twelfth annual Honors Day ceremony to recognize publicly the college-wide academic and extracurricular achievements of Bowdoin students and faculty. The ceremony was held May 7, 2008, at Pickard Theater, Memorial Hall.

In his welcoming remarks, President Barry Mills said, "This is an important night at the College, and it's a real honor for me to stand before you to acknowledge the students and all they've accomplished this year."

Following President Mill's welcome, Assistant Professor of Education Charles Dorn delivered the Honors Day address. Dorn, recipient of the 2007 Sydney B. Karofsky Prize for Junior Faculty gave a talk titled "From 'Liberal Professions' to 'Lucrative Professions': The Civic Functions of Higher Education in America."

Dorn spoke of the increasing commodification of higher learning and the students' conception of college education as a consumer good, which he calls particularly troubling.

"My concern is that treating higher education solely as a private good has the effect of relieving students of what I believe is an historic obligation to contribute to society through their occupational pursuits," said Dorn.

Dorn also spoke of the difference between choice and obligation with regard to career pursuits.

"The College's own history, however, does seem to suggest that we should at least question our current conceptions of occupational success and service to society as being in tension, or even worse, as being in opposition to one another," Dorn said.

"Through recent conversations, I've come to understand many Bowdoin students as believing that their career trajectories are dichotomous. They can either get ahead in life — which may look something like consulting work or investment banking — or they can serve society — which may look something like non-profit work or teaching — but they can't do both. And rarely do they acknowledge an ethical or professional obligation to advance the common good regardless of their career choice."

Click here for the full text of Dorn's talk.

Phi Beta Kappa

Following Dorn's address, 21 members of the Class of 2008 were recognized for being elected to Phi Beta Kappa, a national honorary fraternity open to top scholars of the graduating class:

Amy Ahearn
Cassandra Elizabeth Benkwitt
Anna Erwin Booth
Caroline Rebecca McIver Currie
Ryan Allyn Devenyi
Jonathan David Freedman
Philip Wesley Gates
Rebecca Rachel Genauer
James Martin Harris
Kristen Elizabeth Huber
Jennifer Kristen Kennedy
Ekaphan Kraichak
Lincoln Joseph Pac
Rachel Rapp
Anne Genevieve Riley
Zachary John Roberts
Jacob Sam Stevens
Naomi Leah Sturm
Fei Tan
Megan Rocchio Waterman
Yi Zhuang

National Awards

Following the announcement of the Phi Beta Kappa inductees, students were recognized for winning national awards. Students listed are Class of 2008 unless noted otherwise.

Anna Marie Remillard '08 has been awarded a Diplomatic and Consular Officers, Retired (DACOR) Bacon House Foundation Fellowship, which offers support toward a master's degree in international relations for the purpose of contributing to the development of mutual international understanding and the strengthening of ties between the people of the U.S. and other nations.

Four seniors and one alumna earned Fulbright Fellowships. Fulbrights provide funding for study or teaching abroad for one year to promote cross-cultural interaction and increase mutual understanding between people of the U.S. and other countries through educational and cultural exchange. Amy Ahearn '08 will teach in Malaysia, Lana Caitlin Mathis '08 and Courtney Reichert '06 will teach in Austria, and Grace Park '08 will teach in South Korea. Andrew George Steltzer '08 will study in Japan.

Steven Curtis Holleran has been awarded a Thomas J. Watson Scholarship, which funds a year of independent study and travel abroad for a year after graduation.

Commencement, General Scholarship and Leadership Awards

Vanessa Lisbeth Vidal Castellanos received the Goodwin Commencement Prize, and Nathan Reuben Chaffetz won the Class of 1868 Prize. Both students will give Commencement addresses. Daniel Farrell Brady received the DeAlva Stanwood Alexander first prize and will speak at Baccalaureate; Wellesley Lutricia Wilson received the DeAlva Stanwood Alexander second prize, and is the Commencement weekend alternate speaker.

The Brooks-Nixon Prize, awarded each year to the best Bowdoin candidate for selection as a Rhodes scholar, was presented to Abigail Wells Isaacson.

Nicholas Iver Simon 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 Elizabeth Sylvia Leiwant 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.

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

Kiel Michael McQueen and Meredith Sunshine Segal both received 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.

The 2008 Sydney B. Karofsky Award for Junior Faculty also was presented during the ceremony. 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 Assistant Professor of Art Michael Kolster.

Upon announcing the Karofsky award, Cristle Collins Judd took the opportunity to recognize all Bowdoin faculty members for their wonderful efforts and exceptional work.

Pianist Nicholas Anthony Kasprak '08 accompanied the audience in the singing of the Alma Mater and provided the postlude. Andrea Gwyneth Lee Printy '08 performed entrance music and Robert James Hao Zhang-Smitheram '11 performed the interlude.

Among the extracurricular awards given to students who have demonstrated exemplary leadership and character during their time at Bowdoin, the James Bowdoin Cup was presented to Amy Ahearn. The award is given to the student who in the previous college year has won a varsity letter while making the highest scholastic average among the students receiving varsity letters.
In addition to these awards, departmental awards given to those students who excelled in particular fields of study were acknowledged at the ceremony.

Download a PDF of the Honors Day program with the names of all the winners.

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