|College Awards Ceremony Highlights Scholarly Achievement
May 03, 2007
Davidson College celebrated the achievements of about 250 members of the college community during Spring Convocation last week. Three weeks prior to Commencement, the ceremony culminated a year of student achievements in academic pursuits, athletic excellence, campus leadership, and community service. Members of the senior class, assembled for the ceremony in Duke Family Performance Hall dressed for the first time in their academic regalia, heartily applauded the many individuals among them singled out for recognition.
Renee Williams ’07 puts the finishing touches on friend Tiffany Major ’07 before the convocation ceremony.
President Robert Vagt opened Convocation by thanking and recognizing donors of fifteen new scholarships established during the past year. About two dozen donors and family members attended the ceremony, and enjoyed a group dinner following the event.
Vice President for Academic Affairs Clark Ross announced the appointment Assistant Professor of Psychology Scott Tonidandel '96 as the next holder of the rotating MacArthur Professorship for young faculty members.
Ross also announced the appointment of Assistant Professor of History Jane Mangan as the inaugural holder of the new Malcolm O. Partin Professorship.
The Student Government Association presented its annual faculty award to Durwin Striplin, associate professor of chemistry, as a "beacon of enthusiasm." Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) presented its annual teaching award to Patrick Sellers, an associate professor of political science lauded for a dedication and commitment to teaching that extends beyond the classroom and into the daily lives of students. ODK also honored two dining services supervisors, Ed Rutkowski and Dee Phillips, with its staff award, and honored Ruth Anne Vagt, Davidson's first lady, with its community award as thanks for her grace and dedication in serving Davidson for the past ten years.
The ceremony included presentation of an honorary doctor of letters degree to 1968 Davidson alumnus William Andrews, senior associate dean of fine arts and humanities at UNC Chapel Hill. Andrews delivered a keynote address entitled "How I Got Here," which described his unlikely and serendipitous academic evolution to become one of the nation's foremost scholars of African-American literature.
Marshalls for the ceremony included Belk Scholars (l-r) Emanuel Clark ’09 and Lance Harden ‘09
Though he was not involved with that subject at Davidson, Andrews credited his undergraduate experience, especially the Humanities Program, with developing the intellectual humility it takes to conduct valid scholarship.
He also said Davidson taught him the value of intellectual risk-taking, which he exercised as an editorial writer for The Davidsonian and as a campus leader in the movement to reform the fraternity system.
Davidson is a highly selective independent liberal arts college for 1,700 students. Since its establishment in 1837 by Presbyterians, the college has graduated 23 Rhodes Scholars and is consistently ranked in the top ten liberal arts colleges in the country by U.S. News and World Report magazine.