A Joyful Convocation Celebrates Honors Graduates

Honors Convocation 2022

Members of the Honors community, Honors core faculty, esteemed deans and family and friends happily celebrated the graduation of nearly 170 Honors graduates in the class of 2022 on Friday, May 13th at the annual Honors Convocation in Hendricks Chapel. The graduates individually crossed the stage as their thesis titles were named, and were congratulated by their school or college’s respective Dean with an Honors medallion.

Otto Love!

Danielle Smith, Director of the Honors Program, welcomed the audience and shared Bessie Head’s vision of a love so powerful, “it is like unseen flowers under your feet as you walk.” The speech served as a reminder that with love and imagination, we can transcend our lived experiences. Smith also referred to a Tibetan proverb that urges the essentiality of education. The proverb states, “A child without education is like a bird without wings.” Smith implored the audience to cherish the concept that to be educated is to “imagine beyond limits…it is to shatter the sky.” Smith expressed her faith that the imaginations of the graduates will contribute to a better future, through their work toward innovation, social advocacy, climate research, technology, community initiatives, and empowering the human spirit. Smith congratulated the class, whose members are all “born to create beautiful dreams.” The entire chapel audience applauded the Honors graduates with love.

Salvatore (Sal) Pepe, Honors Student Speaker

Graduating senior and Honors student speaker Salvatore (Sal) Loong Pepe expressed gratitude to the Honors faculty and staff for the way they “nourished us with knowledge, seasoned us with life experience, and served hard truths that have forced us to grow not only as students, but as people.” Sal exalted the strength of his peers for persevering through adversity. “In the heat of #NotAgainSU, we gathered to defend our home from the dangers of systemic racism and throughout the pandemic we worked hard to protect our loved ones, ourselves, and each other.”

View the 2022 Honors Convocation ceremony here.

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