University of Vermont

The Honors College

Honors College Class of 2011 Inducted as Scholars

On Saturday, May 21, the fourth Honors College graduating class gathered in the Ira Allen Chapel to be recognized as Honors College Scholars. Having completed their rigorous coursework as well as their theses, these students were decorated as some of the most outstanding academic and intellectual members of the University of Vermont's Class of 2011.

The 107 Honors College Scholars were led into the chapel by Nathan Hicks '11, the Honors College Banner Bearer. Hicks and Bridget Vanzo '11 (who led the Honors College processional for the main university commencement), were chosen to represent their class for their outstanding academic work and perfect grade point average.

Over their four years, Honors College Scholars were challenged to read, write, think deeply, and work harder. Throughout that time they were supported by faculty members from their first year on campus to the time they turned in the final draft of their thesis. That bond between Honors College students and faculty members was apparent at commencement; professors who had the opportunity to teach either a first year course or a sophomore seminar to the Class of 2011 came to honor the students. The faculty processional was led by Associate Dean Lisa Schnell and Faculty Marshall Professor Dave Jenemann, and the faculty members on hand included Professors Susan Hughes (Business), Robert Taylor (Political Science), Randall Harp (Philosophy), Deborah Neher (Plant & Soil Science), Holly Busier (Education), Brenda Tessmann (Microbiology & Molecular Genetics), Lynne Bond (Psychology), Rocki Lee DeWitt (Business), Tiffany Hutchins (Communication Sciences), Joseph Acquisto (Romance Languages), John Gennari (English), and Kevin Trainor (Religious Studies). Deans Patricia Prelock (Nursing & Health Sciences) and Mary Watzin (Rubenstein School of Environment & Natural Resources) were also at the ceremony, as was President Dan Fogel (English), who team-taught Screening the Modern, a sophomore seminar with Professor Jenemann in 2008.

University officials were also on hand to honor the students. Chair of the Board of Trustees Robert Cioffi, Provost Jane Knodell, and President Dan Fogel each congratulated the students and wished them well on their next life chapter. Each scholar was then invited to the stage to receive their Honors College medallion in recognition of all their hard work as well as academic success during their college career. In addition to their scholar status, many students graduated with summa cum laude, magna cum laude, cum laude, and/or Phi Beta Kappa honors. Numerous students also graduated with departmental awards.

Rubenstein Professor Jeffrey Hughes, who taught some of the Class of 2011 in his sophomore seminar, Discovering a Sense of Place: A Modern Day Thoreau Experience gave the farewell address. He urged students to continue to try new things, continue to find adventures, and continue to learn beyond their time at the university.

Students would have to wait another day to receive their official degrees. On Sunday, May 22, all UVM students gathered for the main university commencement ceremony. Tennis great and gender equality activist Billie Jean King praised UVM's approximately 3,097 graduates (including 2,475 bachelor's, 392 master's, 97 doctoral and 111 M.D. degree recipients, in addition to 22 post-baccalaureate certificates). That afternoon, each Honors College scholar received their diploma from their home university, and officially went from being a college student to being a college graduate.

The 2011 Honors College Scholars are already off on their next adventures. Some students will begin working soon after graduation. One student will be working for the USGS in Montpelier. Another Honors College student will be working for the DIS Study Abroad program in Copenhagen, Denmark, while another will be moving to France to go to graduate school and teach English. A policy-oriented student will be working for a U.S. Congressman, while another student plans to begin work for Boeing this summer.

Others are going back to school in the fall. One student plans to pursue an MBA, a few others are off to either medical or law school, and several students plan to pursue graduate degrees in either the health or sciences fields. The universities students will be attending include Harvard University, Dartmouth College, University of California-Santa Barbara, Fordham University and University of Hawaii-Manoa.

Still others will be pursuing service opportunities. Three students said they will be working with Americorps, two others were accepted into Teach for America, and one student has committed to working with the Peace Corps for the next two years.

Still other students will take some much deserved time off this summer to travel, relax, and then focus on their next plans. We wish all Honors College Class of 2011 graduates the best of luck, and we look forward to their future visits.

Last modified June 06 2011 12:40 PM