This is the second year for the event and Luther S. Williams, provost and executive vice president, said the program is meant to recognize the collective achievement of the students, faculty, deans and staff. Also, he said that the 204 honorees represent roughly 30 percent of the undergraduate student body.
“[These students] are exemplars of what the university does best, which is to promote outstanding academic performance. We are extremely pleased with their individual performance and we are certainly grateful to the faculty, staff and deans,” Williams said.
The students, their professors, deans and loved ones gathered for presentations and a reception dinner in the ballroom of the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center at Tuskegee University. Vice provost and dean of the College of Agriculture, Environment and Nutrition Sciences, Walter A. Hill, praised the students for their current achievement, but also urged them to use their talents to help solve problems such as disease, improving the plight of the poor and ending political strife.
“The genius within you, you know it’s there. The brilliance within you, you know it’s there,” Hill said. “So, we will now track you. Our expectations are extremely high for you… the world needs you.”
Making the grade
Jashaun Bottoms and Adrinece Beard, cousins from Kokomo, Ind., both achieved high GPAs this semester and were pleased with the attention.
“It feels great. It’s exciting. I am really excited to meet everyone in here,” said Bottoms, a chemistry major with a 4.0 GPA who hopes to be a pediatrician.
Beard said she felt the recognition was a blessing, considering she had some difficult moments during the semester and did not expect to have her 3.5 GPA. The biology major said she overcame those hurdles by being in constant contact with her professors, using study groups, managing her time and finding fun ways to study that suited her learning habits.
“I don’t like a lot of reading so I would go on the Internet all the time,” Beard said. “Whatever we were talking about in class the YouTube videos would show it in motion and that would help me understand.”
Tuskegee University President Gilbert L. Rochon said he was proud to see so many exemplary students and encouraged them not to rest on their laurels, but to use their work ethic to propel themselves to further academic achievement.
He said, “I would urge you all to become addicted to life-long learning.”