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Arts & Betters Receive Long-overdue Recognition

Academic Success Honored at 2017 Arts and Letters Convocation

Anthony Karambelas, Staff Reporter

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It’s that time of year when every college congregates to recognize the outstanding academic achievements of its students. This past Friday, undergraduates, graduates, faculty, and staff from the College of Arts & Letters gathered at the State Playhouse for the 2017 Honors Convocation.

Dean of the College, Dr. Rennie Schoepflin spoke first, congratulating all awardees as being among the firsts, the bests, and the onlys. Many of the gathered students, he said, were the first in their families to attend college. Others were at the convocation for the first time, and some were even in their first years.

“All of you are the best at attaining top grades and all of you are the best at combining tenacity, talent and positive energy,” said Dr. Schoepflin.

The Dean’s List honorees from each department were the first ones to be recognized. According to the University Catalog, these are students who exceed a 3.4 GPA in 12 or more units of traditionally graded coursework and who represent the top 5% of the student body.

Second, graduate students maintaining a 3.8 GPA or higher were specially recognized. Students from the Honors College, across all majors, were also given recognition for their achievement. And lastly, major-specific honors society inductees during the 2016 school year were applauded for their accomplishment.

Dr. Schoepflin, in his speech, continued, “You will continue, during your student career and thereafter, as creative artists, scholars, and thinkers. And as the only ones to do certain things well. To create unique gifts for the world. So you see? You do more than one only. You will collectively excel at many onlys.”

Showing their commitment to student success, the Chairs from each represented department presented the awards to their recipients. Overall, eight colleges were represented, totaling an impressive ninety or so students, all clustered beneath the hot stage lights of the State Playhouse.

The attendance was equally remarkable, filling the nearly 400-seat auditorium. Family and friends cheered their students on, generating a thoroughly supportive environment. Especially on a campus where STEM so often takes the forefront, this incredible support for the arts was a pleasant sight.

In his concluding speech, Dr. Schoepflin summed up the importance of the artistic discipline, “These are the real powers of those of us in the humanities. We take the passion of creative spirit and energy, and move from process to product. You are indeed someone who is member of a group of firsts, bests, and onlys.”

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