Medals awarded to 435 Schreyer Honors College Scholars

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Schreyer Honors College 2016 spring Medals Ceremony signaled the beginning of Penn State’s weekend of commencement ceremonies as more than 430 Scholar medals were awarded Friday, May 6. Friends and family members of Scholars and distinguished guests gave the graduating class of Schreyer Scholars a standing ovation at the conclusion of the ceremony in Eisenhower Auditorium.

Penn State University President Eric J. Barron remarked on the exceptional talents and accomplishments of the Schreyer Honors College class of 2016 which included more than 800 honors and awards, including the Churchill Scholarship, Goldwater Scholarships and a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace junior fellowship. Scholars were also recognized for their contributions to the University, their colleges, departments and organizations.

Ninety-nine percent of the 2016 graduating class achieved cum laude status with an average grade-point average of 3.84. Nine Scholars were selected as student marshals for spring 2016 Penn State commencement ceremonies as each possessed the highest grade-point average among graduating seniors in their respective colleges.

Nearly half the Schreyer Honors College class of 2016 participated in study abroad programs with experiences in more than 50 different countries. Thirty-nine Scholars earned both an undergraduate degree and graduate degree during their academic careers at Penn State through the Integrated Undergraduate-Graduate Degree program. More than 100 Scholars graduated with at least two degrees and nine Scholars finished with three degrees. One Scholar earned four Penn State degrees with three baccalaureate degrees and a master’s degree.

Executive Vice President and Provost Nicholas P. Jones introduced Scholar Briana Adams who addressed her classmates and asked that they recognize their families for their encouragement, support and love. Speaking about one of her mentors, who referenced his favorite African proverb, “Do good in the world and let no good thing get away,” Adams reminded Scholars of their “responsibility to purposefully find opportunities to make a difference in the world… and our inherent obligation to protect the goodness of the world and prevent it from slipping away.”

Adams saluted Scholars and their efforts to live the mission of the Schreyer Honors College through their studies and research, through good works and goodwill both globally and locally, and through leadership and impact. She quoted First Lady Michelle Obama and reinforced that as those who benefited from the generosity of others, there is a tradition to ”engage in philanthropy, mentorship and community service.” She closed her comments with the final verse to Penn State’s alma mater.

Schreyer Honors College Dean Christian M. M. Brady concluded the afternoon’s program with inspired remarks and a quote from author Frederick Buechner, “Here is the world, beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.” Giving examples of both instances encountered in life, he commented on examples of both and how he supported what he “liked” and “loved” using social media emojis. Dean Brady told Scholars of the class of 2016 that they would find much to “like,” but he also encouraged them to “love” and “continue to be the incredible people you are.”

Schreyer Honors promotes academic excellence with integrity, the building of a global perspective and creation of opportunities for leadership and civic engagement. Schreyer Honors Scholars, including Gateway Scholars admitted after their first year of enrollment, total more than 1,900 students at University Park and twenty Commonwealth campuses. They represent the top 2 percent of students at Penn State University who perform well academically and lead on campus.

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Last Updated June 15, 2016