College Celebrates Scholarship, Leadership and Service With Spring Convocation Awards
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced people to stay away from each other—and campus—but the college community remains closer than ever, Davidson College President Carol Quillen said in a video address to the students and faculty honored today with Spring Convocation awards.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced people to stay away from each other—and campus—but the college community remains closer than ever, Davidson College President Carol Quillen said in a video address to the students and faculty honored today with Spring Convocation awards. Personalized video messages recorded by academic department chairs and college administrators were sent to the 67 award winners this morning.
“I want to thank you for your empathy and courage,” Quillen said in her address. “Students, faculty, staff all have pushed past the sadness and anxiousness. You’ve poured yourselves into upending, then reconfiguring, how you do everything.
“You have bridged enormous distances to help others, to sustain and strengthen the incomparable sense of community we all cherish so much at Davidson.”
The awards recognize achievement, character, innovation, sportsmanship, and service. They honor future scientists, mathematicians, writers, sociologists, economists, artists, diplomats, doctors, teachers and military leaders for what they’ve already accomplished.
“We need leaders who seek multiple perspectives on a threat like COVID-19,” Quillen said. “We need to recognize how much we can’t and don’t know. We all need to figure out how to collaborate in ways large and small to create an effective team response.”
People look to you for hope, she told students.
“This pandemic lit a blinding spotlight on how much our world needs the graduates who every year step off of campus and into our neighborhoods and nations around the globe,” she said.
Leading by Example
Besides awards, the college recognized honor society members, scholarship recipients, and graduating students planning to embark on international fellowships.
Spring Convocation also provides an opportunity to thank and celebrate donors who established new scholarships this year that will support Davidson’s talented students.
Though students received the bulk of awards, they took time to issue their own to faculty and staff.
The Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) teaching award went to Rosalba E. Scott, visiting lecturer in Spanish.
“With selflessness as a staple of her teaching, Dr. Scott consistently goes above and beyond for her students,” the award says. “She is a passionate teacher who engages each student in the classroom while challenging the student to use knowledge to better the world.”
Martha Howland of Building Services received the ODK staff award.
“Martha greatly impacts Davidson through her genuine passion for students, staff, faculty and all whom she encounters in the E. Craig Wall Jr. Academic Center,” the award says. “She is an important presence in the Davidson community as she purposefully engages, encourages and uplifts others.”
Peter Ahrensdorf, James Sprunt Professor of Political Science, received the Student Government Association (SGA) teaching award. The award “recognizes the positive involvement of a professor in the lives of students outside the classroom setting.”
Associate Chemistry Professor Nicole Snyder received the Pre-Major faculty advising award. The award “recognizes a professor for dedicated and meaningful guidance to students in pre-major advising.”
Quillen said that while the pandemic thwarted tradition this year, it doesn’t diminish achievement.
“Congratulations to all of you,” she said. “I really look forward to the day when we’re all back together and can celebrate in person all that you’re accomplished.”