Rite of Recognition: Spring Convocation Celebrates Excellence, Leadership, Service

It was doubtless the first time that many in the hall had been truly still for more than a few seconds at a time recently, as the semester winds down and final exams loom.

"I invite you to take a moment to be still, feel your body standing, feel yourself breathing, just be," Chaplain Rob Spach began the invocation for Spring Convocation.

The annual tradition brings together senior students and faculty members in academic regalia prior to the commencement ceremony, slated this year for May 21.

Cheers erupted in the Duke Family Performance Hall as college leaders presented students, faculty, staff and community members with awards for academic and athletic excellence, leadership, community service, international studies, religious life and ROTC military service.

A departmental award in Chinese Studies went to Thomas DeMarzo '17, who authored the first Davidson honors thesis written in Chinese.

Students registered their approval with applause and loud praise for the recipients of awards presented by Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) and the Student Government Association (SGA):

  • Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Writing Rebeca Fernandez (ODK Teaching)
  • Dean of Students Tom Shandley, who is retiring this year (ODK Staff)
  • Jane Campbell '87 (ODK Community Member)
  • Associate Professor of Arabic Rebecca Joubin (SGA Faculty)
  • Chaplain Rob Spach (SGA Pre-Major Advising)

New members of honor societies and students receiving graduate school fellowships and scholarships also received recognition during the ceremony.

Spach's closing blessing summed up much of what has brought the assembled thus far in their journey:

"May you know the gladness of a heart drawn towards mercy, compassion and hope; may you know the yearning of a will guided by what is generous, honorable and just; may you know the peace of a mind that seeks after truth, embraces new questions, and bows in amazement, admiration and awe..."

John Syme




  • April 25, 2017