The Gustavian Weekly

Honors Convocation recognizes students and faculty | The Gustavian Weekly

By Melissa Saholt - Staff Writer | May 13, 2016 | News

As the Gustavus community eagerly awaits summer vacation, the Honors Day Convocation is one event during Honors Weekend that takes a moment to celebrate student and professor achievements in the past school year. The Convocation took place at 10:30 am on Saturday, May 7.

A lot of work was put into ensuring that the Convocation was successful. Provost Mark Braun’s folder script was peppered with red ink. From corrections, notes for next year, and name pronunciations, every last detail is documented.

“It appears to the families to run smoothly, but behind the scenes there is lots of work for several weeks to make it happen,” Braun said.

The main address in the Convocation was presented by the recipient of the previous year’s Edgar M. Carlson Award, which is awarded to a faculty member who has demonstrated excellence in teaching and mentoring.

“My favorite part about Honors Day is the look on students’ faces when they come up.” Provots Mark Braun said.

This year’s Carlson Award holder was David Obermiller, an Associate Professor of History. In his address, Professor Obermiller shared his own history, discussing how a series of failures and his Okinawan heritage contributed to where he is today.

His address was especially enjoyed by Senior Morgan Timm, a Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and French double major.

“It was fantastic,” Timm said. “I have never had him for class, but I can definitely see why I’ve heard such phenomenal things about him.”

Timm herself was well received at the Convocation, accepting four awards and receiving recognition within her majors. But her favorite part?

“Getting asked to carry the chemistry flag for the department. That’s so much more personal than most of the awards…It means a lot more to me than anything else.” Timm said.

Following Professor Obermiller’s speech, Provost Braun announced the names of students who received awards and honors. While it may seem like a difficult task when faced with a slew of names, Braun looked forward to it.

“My favorite part about Honors Day is the look on students’ faces when they come up.” Braun said.

Following the announcements, the Gustavus Faculty Scholarly Accomplishment Award was presented to Dwight Stoll, a Chemistry Professor. The Swenson and Bunn Memorial Award was the final award, and was given to Mary Joos, the Athletic Training Director.

Honors Weekend not only incorporates students and professors, but also families. Sophomore Liza Long, a Political Science and Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies double major, was inducted into Sigma Delta Pi, the national Spanish honors society.

“Honors Day is important because it celebrates people’s achievements. Sometimes we feel like we’re too busy to celebrate the achievements we have. Any time we have in life to celebrate something, I think you should celebrate it.” Senior Griffin Reed said.

For the occasion, her entire family drove from Appleton, Wisconsin to support Long and her brother, Senior Nathan.

“I think Honors Day is really important for the families of the students because they like to be involved in their students’ lives. It’s a big deal for families to come down and be proud of their college students.” Liz Long said

At the end of the day, Honors Weekend boils down to appreciating the success within the Gustavus community.

It gives Gusties time to pause and reflect on everything they have accomplished.

Senior Griffin Reed, a Biology major, had four awards to reflect on in his last year at Gustavus.

“Honors Day is important because it celebrates people’s achievements,” Reed said. “Sometimes we feel like we’re too busy to celebrate the achievements we have. Any time we have in life to celebrate something, I think you should celebrate it.”