This past Tuesday night, graduating students were celebrated at the annual Academic Excellence Convocation in Brooks Memorial Gym for their accomplishments.
“We offer each of you our sincere congratulations,” Dr. Bert C. Bach said during the ceremony.
Medals and stoles were awarded to 105 students to be worn with graduation robes. The guest speaker for the evening included Catherine Pritchard Childress, a former Midway Honors Scholar and author of the poetry collection “Other.”
“You’re here tonight to receive well deserved honors,” Childress said. “And in 18 days you will experience exhilaration in hearing your name called just to signify that you are college graduates. Be present in that moment. Absorb all of that energy and satisfaction that you are feeling right now, and draw upon those feelings when you feel like you’re crawling.”
The Academic Excellence Convocation has been going on since 2005, and along with the Honors-in-Discipline program, other programs presenting awards included the University Honors Scholars Program, Fine and Performing Arts Scholars Program and Roan Scholars Leadership Program. Latin honors were also acknowledged based on grade point average.
“I know I’m getting my honors in discipline medal,” ETSU senior Lia Hall said. “It means that I have completed the English honors in discipline program. I did all the classes required, and I wrote an undergraduate thesis.”
Senior Kayla Heineken also received recognition.
“I’m here to get recognized for being a University Honors Scholar,” Heineken said. “So we’re getting recognized for being in the program for four years and successfully completing it.”
Heineken said that being a part of the honors program was challenging, with one of those challenging elements including completing a thesis.
“I’m proud of finally completing it,” Heineken said. “Having that almost done…having that almost completed…feels very great.”
Elizabeth Brackins, a senior also being recognized as a University Honors Scholar, agreed with Heineken’s statement.
“I think having the combination of four years of hard work coming to a point with an award is really rewarding,” Brackins said.