On Friday, Oct. 27, the Kalamazoo College community took time to recognize students and their successes at Honors Day. After an academic processional of faculty members, a symphony of flutes, and an invocation of thanks by College Chaplain Liz Candido, students and other members of the campus community were congratulated by President Jorge Gonzalez.
President Gonzalez expressed gratitude not only for the exceptional Kalamazoo College students, but also for everyone who supports them, including parents, faculty, staff and peers. “[As we] celebrate our successes, we get to learn what goes on campus … we achieve [these successes as a] community.”
Provost Michael McDonald presented the awards from each academic division: Fine Arts, Foreign Languages, Humanities, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Social Sciences and Physical Education. In addition, students were honored for their achievements with their involvement on campus in leadership roles and sports, and for exceptional use of scholarships.
Among the winners were Kevin McCarty ‘20 and Cindy Xiao ‘18, who both felt equally humbled by the recognition of their accomplishments in their college experiences.
McCarty, who received the awards for Romance Languages Department Prize in Spanish and the Department of Chemistry Prize, felt empowered and reassured. “I think for me the awards not only give me a sense of support in the chemistry and Spanish departments, but also reassures me that the path I am taking at this school is right for me, and that my work is actually paying off,” McCarty said.
In receiving the College award of the Gordon Beaumont Memorial, Xiao immediately felt the need to share the award with her family. “I felt happy and excited that I could share with them my success. It was like I had ‘proof’ of the care and effort I put into the things that I do and that, in turn, was some way that I was able to show them that I appreciated their sacrifices and support through these years,” she said.
The audience was comprised of not only winners but also K faculty, staff, parents and other students. One of the students was Haley Wentz ‘18, who had come to support her friend who was receiving an award. “I felt like a proud mom,” Wentz said. “Afterwards, my friend sent our group of friends a nice text thanking us for being such a good support system. I felt really appreciated as a part of the campus community.”