While campus remains closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the springtime tradition of convocation at Hillsdale College continued, albeit in a near-empty Christ Chapel and streamed live online.
During the livestream, held at 11 a.m. on April 23, College President Larry Arnn addressed the current state of the college in this unprecedented time. Arnn noted that he and the procession of academic deans and Chaplain Adam Rick were keeping six feet apart.
The all-school GPA for the fall semester was 3.385. The all-women’s GPA was 3.484, and the all-men’s average was 3.293. Pi Beta Phi won the Greek scholarship cup for sororities with a GPA of 3.518, while Sigma Chi won for the fraternities with a 3.246 average.
Professor of History David Stewart received the Daugherty Award for Teaching Excellence during the event. Stewart was not present, due to state restrictions on gatherings, and Arnn presented the award to Dean of Faculty and Chair of History Mark Kalthoff.
In an email to The Collegian, Kalthoff said Stewart deserved the Daugherty as an acknowledgement of his career.
“A remarkably devoted, talented, and hard working colleague, he consistently teaches extra classes, develops new courses, and tirelessly contributes to the efforts of the history department,” Kalthoff said. “His ongoing work in the development of Museum Studies and Public History stands as just one example of many. His focus upon cultivating students and challenging them to think about how to engage with history is exemplary.”
The top 10 seniors of the Class of 2020 were announced during the event. Listed alphabetically, they are: Sarah Becker, Natalie Bodnar, Jessica Chen, Emma Clifton, Nathaniel Gipe, Olivia Mulley, Sydney SanJuan, Hannah Stevenson, Gabriella VanAken, and Caitlin Weighner.
Lee Ann Baron, professor of chemistry and 2019’s professor of the year, gave an address titled “It Matters!” She emphasized the importance of students’ efforts, even as classes have been moved online.
“For those of you who will not be returning in the fall, our seniors, remember the importance of these ideas, concepts, and relationships that challenge and help you grow in your time at Hillsdale,” she said.
Reporter Regan Meyer contributed to this report.