Honoring ExcellenceGAMBIER, Ohio (April 11, 2007) The Kenyon community came together on Tuesday, April 10, to celebrate the accomplishments of students, teachers, and mentors at the annual Honors Day convocation.
Highlighting the event was the awarding of the Trustee Teaching Excellence Awards, which went this year to Assistant Professor of Classics Adam C. Serfass and Professor of Drama Thomas S. Turgeon. The trustee awards are presented each year to one tenured or tenure-track faculty member who has been teaching at the College for fewer than ten years and one who has been teaching at Kenyon for ten years or more.
Serfass, who joined the faculty in 2002, was praised as a gifted teacher who provides "a wonderul mentoring environment for students" and whose lectures stand out as being "engaging, insightful, learned, and supremely well-crafted." Serfass teaches courses in both Greek and Latin as well as ancient history. His research focuses on the diffusion of Christianity in late antiquity.
Turgeon, a faculty member since 1972, has been instrumental in shaping Kenyon's much-admired drama program. Students are "as amazed by your encyclopedic knowledge of theater history as they are engaged by your wry humor and friendly accessibility," said Board of Trustees Chairman William Bennett in presenting the award. Turgeon was also praised for his work as a scholar, as the director of dozens of College productions, and as a translator of French playwrights such as Moliere and Marivaux.
Many students were recognized for superior achievement, winning a variety of departmental and college-wide honors. Awards included the nationally administered Goldwater Scholarships, given to students in the sciences, mathematics, and engineering; the Paul Newman Trophy and Joanne Woodward Trophy, given to drama students; the humanitarian award; and the E. Malcolm Anderson Cup, given to the student who has done the most for Kenyon in the current year. (View the complete list of Honors Day award winners.)
The convocation also featured the bestowing of three honorary doctoral degrees. Receiving the honorary degrees were:
* Rita Smith Kipp, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of the South and a former professor of anthropology and associate provost at Kenyon. She was recognized for her role in promoting Asian studies, for exemplifying the ideal of the scholar-teacher, and for expanding opportunities for women.
* Leopoldo Lopez, Kenyon Class of 1993, the mayor of the Chacao municipality in Caracas, Venezuela. Lopez was cited for his roles as economic advisor, professor, and social activist and for his career in politics.
* Neal Mayer, Kenyon Class of 1963. Mayer was honored for his career achievements as an international authority on maritime administrative law as well as his tireless devotion to Kenyon as a volunteer. Mayer has served as a Kenyon trustee, as president of Alumni Council and as an admissions and career-counseling volunteer.