“Today we recognize those within our community who have achieved excellence,” said President Shirley Ann Jackson in her remarks. “As we do so, we are aware that these achievements, as impressive as they are, mark only one milestone on their journeys of commitment to hard work, drive, focus, and collaboration.”
“Excellence requires all these things, day in, day out,” President Jackson added. “The media like to celebrate overnight successes, and people who explode upon the scene. However, a closer look at almost all these stories demonstrates that people do not wake up one morning as ordinary, and then wake up the next as extraordinary. It is persistence and diligence, more than anything, that mark success. We look to our honorands to be models, so a closer look at persistence is in order.”
“It is persistence and diligence, more than anything, that mark success.” President Jackson
Parents, family, and friends looked on as Rensselaer Medalists, students with a 4.0 GPA, undergraduate awardees, graduate fellowship awardees, and faculty members were honored during the ceremony held in the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center.
Faculty members who have received endowed chairs were also recognized. They are: Georges Belfort, a pioneer in bioseparations engineering, who has been named Institute Professor; Bill Francis, professor and co-director of the Ph.D. program in the Lally School of Management and Technology, who has been named Warren H. Bruggeman ’46 and Pauline Urban Bruggeman Distinguished Chair; Mattheos Koffas, associate professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, who has been named Biocatalysis and Metabolic Engineering Constellation Chair; and Jose Holguin-Veras, professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, nationally recognized transportation engineering expert, and director of the Rensselaer Center for Infrastructure, Transportation, and the Environment, who has been named the William Howard Hart Professor.
The 2011 Founders Award, the ceremony’s highest honor, was given to 71 students who were chosen for “creativity, leadership, discovery, and the values of pride and responsibility.” In addition, 188 members of the Class of 2015 who are Rensselaer Medalists also were honored. The Rensselaer Medal is awarded to the top math and science juniors at nearly 4,000 high schools around the world.
President Jackson also noted that celebrations like the Honors Convocation allow us to “honor the accomplishments of members of our community, to celebrate working at the limit of talent and skill, and to recognize those who have shared their insights and the products of their imaginations.”
Photos by Kris Qua