Prize Day ceremony recognizes students

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On Saturday, May 13, the Union community gathered in the Memorial Chapel to view the award recipients of the 2017 Union College Prize Day ceremony. This event was one of two ceremonies held on this day with the Phi Beta Kappa ceremony previously and exclusively held in Old Chapel. President Stephen C. Ainlay began the annual ceremony by welcoming the attendees and introducing the purpose and meaning of the event. He stated, “We are here to celebrate academic accomplishments.” He continued by expressing his respect and admiration for award winners by saying, “You represent in many ways what is best about Union College.” After his opening remarks, President Ainlay introduced the Dean of Academic Departments and Programs, Wendy F. Sternberg, to begin with the awards. Prizes were sorted into Academic, Service, and Distinction categorizes and awarded to students of all four years to recognize excellence in their specific fields. 104 awards in total were awarded to students. Students walked up to the podium after hearing their name called, collected their award, posed for a picture, and returned to their seats for the next student to be recognized. The College Distinction Awards recognized two seniors near the end of the ceremony: Krystal Edwards ’17 and Sharmeen Azher ’17, both for their character and contributions to the college. Other recipients, among many, included Kathryn Evans ’17 who received seven awards and Emma Stein ’17 who received five awards. After all the names had been called, President Ainlay remarked on the significance of the recipients. He stated that “behind each name called is a story…” and continued to discuss the empowerment of the community through the efforts and accomplishments of these individuals. To end the ceremony, he introduced the Dutch Pipers, a student choir, to sing Ode to Old Union. Prior to the event, another ceremony was exclusively held in Old Chapel before the Prize Day ceremony to officially welcome specific inductees to Phi Beta Kappa. Phi Beta Kappa is among the oldest honor societies in the nation for the liberal arts and sciences and Union College places as the fifth oldest chapter. Seniors inducted include: Sharmeen Azher ’17, Noemie Bechu ’17, Kimberly Bolduc ’17, Jack Bragg ’17, Julia Brooks ’17, Morgan Clark ’17, Loren Collado ’17, Kent Curran ’17, Christopher Di Capua ’17, Melissa Epstein ’17, Rachel Fried ’17, Sierra Goodfellow ’17, Molly Graether ’17, Matthew Hacker ’17, Sara Halsey ’17, Connor Hurley ’17, Ruoxuan (Rosie) Jia ’17, Thomas Lawton ’17, Kimberly MacLeod ’17, Kathryn Martin ’17, Molly McDonald ’17, Laura Mueller ’17, Brendan O’Connor ’17, John (Pete) Peterson ’17, Matthew Rametta ’17, Matthew Ramotar ’17, Francis (Frank) Rocco ’17, Zachary Roth ’17, Allison Schachter ’17, Laura Schaffer ’17, Joshua Schwartz ’17, Maddison Stemple-Piatt ’17, Kevin Tran ’17, Lam Vo ’17, Matthew Wu ’17, Kathryn Evans ’17, Chelsea Kaiser ’17, Rebeka Kelmar ’17 and Emily Su ’17. Juniors inducted include: Gianluca Avanzato ’18, Andrew Forte ’18, Aidan Pieper ’18, Rebecca Shamah ’18, Jason Turner ’18 and Maria Van Nostrand ’18. Matthew Wu ’17 described being inducted into the society by stating, “I am so inspired by my fellow seniors who received Phi Beta Kappa. I can honestly say I’ve learned something from each one of them, in many different respects.” He continued, “It is an honor to be inducted with them into the 200th class of Phi Beta Kappa of the Union Chapter.” After the two events, all were invited to the President’s reception at the Reamer Campus Center to continue the celebration of Prize Day.

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