Director of Communications, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Rich in disciplinary breadth and depth – indeed the very soul of the University – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences proudly recognized and joyously celebrated the academic achievements of its top graduating students from the class of 2008 at its annual Academic Medallion Ceremony on Saturday, May 17, in the St. Thomas of Villanova Church. Learn more about the medallion's history here.
During the ceremony, graduating seniors who have excelled in their major course of study during their undergraduate four years at Villanova received a special medallion with their name engraved on the back. In addition, students who have been awarded prestigious national scholarships were presented with a special Dean’s Award in recognition of their significant accomplishment.
Joining University President Rev. Peter M. Donohue, O.S.A., Ph.D.; John R. Johannes, Ph.D., vice president for academic affairs; and the Rev. Kail C. Ellis, O.S.A., dean of the College, in this celebration of academic achievement, were the parents, families, and friends of the College’s most distinguished graduates.
Helen K. Lafferty, Ph.D., the University’s first college professor in liberal arts and sciences, served as the event’s master of ceremonies. Graduating senior Margaret A. Lafferty, ’08, a biology major, delivered the student speech, and Brian P. Mehler, ’08, an English major and Senior Class Poet, recited his original work, “Stopping for a Crash on Rt. 80 While Moving to Tahoe.”
Father Ellis congratulated the graduates on receiving this honor and explained to them that a liberal education is both a privilege and a responsibility, one that not everyone is fortunate enough to experience fully.
In her remarks, Margaret Lafferty said to the honorees that “receiving the College medallion speaks to everyone present of your love for the life of the mind. The purpose of this ceremony is to celebrate your dedication and steadfast commitment to academic excellence, which has become your hallmark.”
Margaret Lafferty continued: “While there are many facts of which each of the colleges at Villanova can be rightfully proud, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences carries a unique mission – one that enriches, and at its best, transforms. Our College exercises a long and venerable tradition in which its students grow to become more competent more concerned and more complete human beings. You sit here today because you have embodied this mission to the fullest. You exemplify an excellence rooted in academic integrity and scholarship, and are now being sent forth as defenders of the ideals of a liberal education.”
The College’s medallion is an annual award given to recognize the accomplishments of select graduates, identified by the department chairs within the College, who have excelled in their major coursework. The awards are based ordinarily upon the cumulative average of the student. Each academic department has named its medallion either for a luminary from the past who has deeply affected the discipline or an outstanding person who helped to shape the course of study at Villanova.
The medallion, designed by Mary V. Sentner, a graduate who majored in the bachelor of fine arts program, was created for the purpose of honoring those who have excelled in their fields of study or work.