Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Convocation emphasizes honor, integrity, purpose

Students, their professors, and College staff rang in the new academic year Tuesday with opening convocation, an event full of class unity and reverence for the College’s academic history.

Representatives of each class carried their class banners into Smith Hall Theatre and displayed them at the front of the auditorium as the seniors processed in wearing their graduation robes—and the funny hats and buttons that are traditional at Randolph.

Randolph College President John E. Klein officially opened the academic year with a discussion of values that the College seeks to develop in each student. “Part of the Randolph College experience is developing a sense of honor, integrity, and purpose,” he said.

Honor and integrity imply honesty and trustworthiness, and both traits are embodied in the College’s Honor Code, Klein said. “For over 100 years, Randolph’s Honor Code has governed student conduct and served as the backbone of life on campus. Our Honor Code helps the College create an atmosphere where trust and respect are more than just words,” he said.

“We trust our classmates to not lie, cheat, or steal. We respect ourselves and others enough that we hold ourselves to the same standards. And we know that we are going to be held accountable for our actions.”

Our Honor Code helps the College create an atmosphere where trust and respect are more than just words.
—John E. Klein
“When you graduate from Randolph,” Klein added, “I hope that this sense of honor and integrity will stay with you, as it has for so many of alumnae and alumni who have gone before you, and help guide you as you face life’s challenges.”

Zara Sibtain ’13, president of the student government, encouraged students to embrace the optimism of the last academic year and carry it forward this year. “Let’s honor our past, but let’s not forget where we’re going—always forward,” she said. “Today, let’s make a promise together to excel in our academics and extracurricular activities. Whatever you’re passionate about, give it your all.”

Klein made an exciting announcement that the National Science Foundation has awarded the College a $600,000 grant to provide scholarships and other support for the college’s science and math programs. It is the largest grant that the college has record of receiving.

Then, College faculty and staff announced the recipients of several much-anticipated awards:
  • The Phi Beta Kappa Book Award – Emma Bartholomew ’14
  • Katherine Graves Davidson Award – John Abell, economics professor
  • Katherine Graves Davidson Scholarship Award – David Schwartz, philosophy professor
  • Gillie A. Larew Award for Distinguished Teaching – Rick Barnes, psychology and environmental studies professor
Convocation ended with the traditional singing of the College song, followed by singing around the Sundial.

See more convocation photos in this photo album on the Randolph College Facebook page.