The Honors Convocation, a ceremony that acknowledges academic and scholarly achievements, recognized Troy University students, faculty and staff, both individually and collectively, for their collegiate successes.
The event was held in Claudia Crosby Theatre on Monday, April 17, for honorees and their families to celebrate their accomplishments.
According to an email sent by Barbara Patterson, director of student involvement and Honors Convocation permanent secretary, “Graduation and Honors Convocation are the two most important academic events of the year.”
Chancellor Jack Hawkins provided opening remarks and shared how proud he was of Troy’s students.
“We serve students, and every day I wake up I think, ‘I am more excited about Troy than the day before,’” Hawkins said. “We are most proud of our students.”
John Schmidt, a former Troy senior administrator and who the Student Success Center is named after, gave three take-aways on the quality of life to those in attendance.
“The quality of your overall happiness is directly proportional to your relationship with God; the quality of one’s own life is directly proportional to leading one’s self; the quality of life experiences will be enriched by lifelong friends and family,” Schmidt said.
Each college recognized those involved in honor societies within the departments and presented awards to students of its prospective organization such as Beta Beta Beta, Lambda Pi Eta, Pi Alpha Alpha and many more.
Individual recipients were also distinguished their accomplishments.
Margaret Gnoinska, a history professor and faculty senate president, was presented with the Ingalls Award for Excellence in Classroom Teaching.
The Algernon Sydney Sullivan Awards were presented to two graduating students, one male and one female, and one non-student chosen by a selection committee (based on nominations) comprised of both students and faculty members.
According to an email from Patterson, the criteria suggest that the award be given “only in recognition of fine spiritual qualities, practically applied to daily living, as distinct from high scholarship, athletic achievement and success in business, professional ability, political leadership or more worldly prominence in any calling. On the other hand, it is realized that the highest spiritual and humanitarian qualities may well be found in intimate and inseparable association with a successful pursuit of such followings.”
Max Herman, a senior hospitality major from Panama City Beach, Florida, and the male recipient of the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, said the award was a high honor for him.
“It is a really high honor and I didn’t truly know how big of a deal this award was until speaking with the Chancellor,” Herman said. “I felt very undeserving of it, and I reflect on what I have been able to accomplish at Troy and am satisfied.”
Herman said his time at Troy will be remembered because of what he has accomplished.
“When I became a believer, my life was transformed, and when I consider looking back on college, I see that it is more than being recognized, but being able to say that ‘I did something,’” Herman said.
Sarah Talbot, a senior graphic design major from Montgomery and the female recipient of the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, said her faith has propelled her toward making a difference at Troy University, and this award is affirmation of her impact.
“I came in (to Troy) with a huge zeal to make a difference in the Catholic community here,” Talbot said. “Often times the fruits of our labor aren’t shown to us until years down the road, if at all.
“Receiving the Algernon Sydney Sullivan award was a very humbling and exciting gift from our Father in Heaven.”
Talbot said the award is something that will stay with her for a long time.
“I will carry this with me for a long time, to remind myself that prayer and zeal can indeed change the world, even with just one university student at a time,” she said.
John Kline, director for the institute of leadership development, received the non-student Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award and said he is very thankful.
“This award means more to me than I can really express,” Kline said. “I am honored, humbled and happy.
“A great leader who means a lot to me has often said that the two most important words are ‘thank you.’ I would like to say ‘thank you’ to the faculty staff and administration, ‘thank you’ to the students who I am blessed to work with daily and especially ‘thank you’ to the Lord.”