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Graduation 2014

Posted by Aaron Shenkman on June 5, 2014 in Awards
Dr. Hankey at Encaenia 2014
Dr. Hankey at Encaenia 2014

The graduation class in this anniversary year for Classics at Dalhousie and King’s was appropriately outstanding. We celebrated the largest and most distinguished class in the 225 years of Classics: 40 degrees, 27 in Classics, 13 in Religious Studies; 15 Honours degrees in Classics, 6 Honours degrees in Religious Studies; 13 First Class Honours degrees over all. Our top three students each took University Medals. Equal numbers received their degrees at the King’s Encaenia on May 15th and at the Dalhousie Convocation on May 20th. As well as graduates in Religious Studies and Classics both celebrations included outstanding students of Arabic.

For the second year, the Classics Department Library hosted a light breakfast for the graduands and their families before the King's College Encaenia events. We are especially grateful to President George Cooper, Dean Nicholas Hatt, Dean Summerby-Murray, and the Rev'd Dr Thomas Curran, Dr Ian Stewart, the Rev'd Dr Gary Thorne, adjunct members of the Department from King's, many of whom are graduates of the Department themselves, who helped make the breakfast a large and joyful beginning of the happy day.

At it Dr Hankey announced that Daniel Heide from Manitoba, with First Class Honours in Classics and Religious Studies, had been awarded the University Medal in Religious Studies. Kevin Walker from Dartmouth, with First Class Honours in Classics and German, whose parents joined us for breakfast, picked up the University Medal in German at the Encaenia ceremony. Sarah Hamilton, from Toronto with First Class Honours in Classics, brought her parents and siblings; her mother the Rev’d Dr Catherine Hamilton blessed the congregation at the Baccalaureate Service which followed. John Maize, also from Toronto, was joined by his parents in celebrating an Honours degree in Contemporary Studies and Religious Studies with three excellent years of Arabic study. Aaron Shenkman with First Class Honours in German and Classics and a Minor in Contemporary Studies brought family from Perth, Ontario, to his celebration and Alexander Edwards parents came from Port Jefferson, New York, to rejoice in his First Class Honours degree. Marybeth Osowski from Chicago converted her degree to First Class Honours in Classics. Daniel, Kevin, Aaron, Alexander and Marybeth, graduates of the Foundation Year Programme as well as Classics, are all returning for Master’s studies this Fall.

The Dalhousie Convocation Luncheon was a great success for a second year. Here the Department honoured its Dalhousie graduates whose origins exhibited a stunning spread. Daniel Gillis, from Port Hawkesbury, in Cape Breton, who will take a SSHRC MA Scholarship to Religious Studies at McGill, brought his parents, younger brother, and girl friend to celebrate his First Class Honours degree and University Medal in Classics. He very movingly replied to Dr Hankey’s toast to the Graduating Class. Tanisha Chakma, from Dhaka, Bangladesh, with First Class Honours in Classics and a Minor in Chinese Studies, the winner of the Nicole-Knox prize for excellence in Ancient Languages, came with her boy friend from Windsor, and Tibet Kara from Izmir, Turkey, was accompanied by his mother as he celebrated an Honours degree. Tanisha and Tibet are staying with us for graduate studies. Wesley Kerr’s parents joined us from Newburgh Ontario for Wesley’s Honours degree in Biology and Classics; Bryan Heytee’s parents and brother came from Toronto to help him celebrate a Master’s degree with a thesis written for Dr Diamond, and Ian Danylchuk came from Winnipeg for his graduation. After an outstandingly warm and happy gathering which included Dr Jack Mitchell’s mother Margaret and his elder son Caius, we trooped off to Convocation and heard a splendid and eminently memorable address by Professor Mitchell, the holder of our Faculty’s Outstanding Teacher Award: μαθεῖν παθεῖν (follow the link to watch the address). 

We are delighted that so many friends and family came and joined the celebrations of our largest graduating class. We wish the best of our alumni in their future endeavors and look forward to welcoming many back in September as they begin graduate work in our MA programme.

Vobis gratias magnas agimus et valete!