The annual Academic Recognition Banquet was last week; what a joy it is to spend an evening with students and faculty members celebrating the achievements of students in all four classes!
Here’s a brief excerpt from my remarks:
“Sometimes it’s easy to take your own achievements for granted. But if each of you will reflect for a moment you’ll realize how very much you have accomplished here at Sweet Briar. For example, think back for just a moment on everything you know now that you didn’t know when you first got here. Think about the tough lab that you finally got through, or the hours of grueling rehearsal that paid off in an effortless performance, or the problem you thought you’d never solve but eventually wrestled to the ground, or the translation that finally made sense in both languages, or the essay that showed you (and your professor!) that you knew more about the topic than you thought you did”
At this banquet it is my honor to award the Presidential Medal — Sweet Briar’s top award, given to a student who represents the best of Sweet Briar and the full range of our educational values. (You can read all about Alex St. Pierre’s many accomplishments here.) The recipient receives a smaller replica of the Presidential Medal I received at my inauguration which she is entitled to wear with her academic regalia.
It takes nothing away from Alex, or any other year’s Presidential Medalist, to note that what’s most wonderful about these outstanding young women isn’t how exceptional they are: it’s actually, in a sense, how typical they are. They represent the best in Sweet Briar women: the qualities of talent, discipline, hard work, integrity, competitiveness, and service for which they are honored can be found in many, many of their fellow students.
So, holla holla to 2012 Presidential Medalist Alexandra St. Pierre, and holla holla to all the Sweet Briar women she represents!