Spring Convocation a Boisterous Celebration of Student and Faculty Achievements

Convocation 2019

Regalia-clad faculty and members of the class of 2019 filled the Duke Family Performance Hall to celebrate academic excellence, service and leadership.

Imagine a party that included an inquisitive biologist, a gifted writer, a champion golfer, a talented actor, an international activist, a thoughtful anthropologist and an accomplished piano player.

Say that group also had some really smart political, religious and military leaders. And humanitarians who work with refugees, tutor disadvantaged children and feed the homeless.

Set that party in an auditorium and you have the backdrop for Davidson College's Spring Convocation Ceremony on April 16. Students received 2019 leadership awards for a multitude of academic, athletic and community service accomplishments.

Spring convocation is the annual prelude to commencement, which is scheduled for May 19th. It's a joyful and sometimes boisterous ceremony that celebrates student and faculty achievement. This year's awards recognized students deeply committed to the arts, sciences, and humanities, and staff and faculty members who serve as mentors and sounding boards.

Their accomplishments and strong sense of community offer proof that, "Every generation of Davidson students changes this place for the better,'' as President Carol E. Quillen said at the ceremony.

Praise for Students, Faculty & Staff

College leaders presented students, faculty, staff and community members with awards for academic and athletic excellence, leadership and community service.

The audience erupted in applause several times for the recipients of awards presented by Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) and the Student Government Association (SGA):

Professor of Biology Verna Case received the ODK Teaching Award. Case was lauded for her focus on "teaching her students how to think" and her dedication to global health;

Staff member Irsa Maria Vargas-Barrantes, of dining services, garnered the ODK Staff Award for her "tangible joy, humble servant-heart, and genuine passion for students, co-workers, and all who pass through Union";

Retired college archivist Anita "Jan" Blodgett received the ODK Community Member Award for her continued service as a community historian and work with students and the Commission on Race and Slavery;

Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies Samuel Sánchez y Sánchez received the SGA Faculty Award. He was described as "personable, humorous, compassionate, and supportive, allowing his students to succeed at their highest levels and helping them to feel valued on campus";

Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies Melissa González, whose "teaching style welcomes students into the classroom, inviting them to learn and to thrive," received the SGA Pre-Major Advising Award.

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

Award Recipients

View a listing of Spring 2019 Convocation Award Recipients (PDF)


  • April 18, 2019