Story posted May 11, 2011
Bowdoin College held its 15th annual Honors Day ceremony to recognize publicly the college-wide academic and extracurricular achievements of Bowdoin students and faculty. The ceremony was held May 11, 2011, at Kanbar Auditorium, Studzinski Recital Hall.
Following welcoming remarks from President Barry Mills, Assistant Professor of German Jill S. Smith delivered the Honors Day address.
Smith, recipient of the 2010 Sydney B. Karofsky Prize for Junior Faculty, gave a talk titled "Honor Among Thieves?” in which she used the contsruct of Bertolt Brecht’s Threepenny Opera, which she said, “demonstrates how quickly the façade of propriety can erode when human greed and anger take hold, and it thereby exposes the very notion of honorable behavior as a sham.”
Smith spoke of the lessons that can be learned from the divided populace of 1920s Germany.
“And yet even in this dangerously divisive time period, when each side tried to out-shout the other, we find evidence of discourses that cannot easily be placed on one side or the other,” said Smith.
“Indeed, we find critical inquiry, lively debate, creativity and nuance. My charge to the students — particularly those who will soon leave the Brechtian theater of the Bowdoin classroom — is to listen past the shouts, to choose your words carefully and to question the words that others might so cavalierly employ, to dig around in the uncharted territory between poles, to see more than two sides to every issue. Such critical engagement can be messy, and it will not always meet with approval, but there’s honor in it just the same.” Read the text of Smith’s address.
Following Smith's address, Dean for Academic Affairs Cristle Collins Judd presented the 2011 Karofsky Prize to Assistant Professor of History David Hecht. More about Hecht here.
The prize, given by members of the Karofsky family, is awarded annually by the dean for academic affairs, in consultation with the Appointments, Promotion, and Tenure Committee on the basis of student evaluations of teaching, to an outstanding Bowdoin teacher who "best demonstrates the ability to impart knowledge, inspire enthusiasm, and stimulate intellectual curiosity." The prize is given to a member of the faculty who has taught at the College for at least two years.
Departmental prizes were then presented by academic department and program chairs. Download a PDF of the 2011 Honors Day program with the names of all the prize winners.
A musical interlude was provided by pianist Allen Wong ’14, who performed “La grande porte de Kiev” (“The Great Gate of Kiev”) from Pictures at an Exhibition by Modest Mussorgsky.