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ISSUE 118 VOL 20 PUBLISHED 5/13/2005

Honors day recognizes achievement, scholarship

By Sara Perelli-Minetti
Contributing Writer

Friday, May 13, 2005

On Friday, students, parents, faculty, alumni and donors gathered in Boe Chapel to celebrate Honors Day 2005.

After the academic procession, Pastor Bruce Benson welcomed all present by thanking St. Olaf’s "bright, thoughtful students and their teachers" for their talents, creativity, understanding, generosity and intelligence.

James May, Provost and Dean of the College, followed Benson’s introduction by recognizing honorees, including special honorees and senior members of honor societies. In addition to those students holding cumulative grade point averages of 3.3 or above, this year’s special honorees included three Fulbright scholars, Knut Christianson ‘05, Rebecca Lofft ‘05 and Kathy Pospichal ‘05, as well as three Goldwater scholars, Lisa Schaus ‘06, William Shyy ‘07 and Daniel Visscher ‘06.

May called upon students to "employ their talents to the benefits and services of others."

He continued by thanking and acknowledging the parents and families of students, as well as the many donors who provide scholarships for students. May concluded by introducing the keynote speaker, James Cederberg, professor of physics, as a "St. Olaf lifer," a "consummate mentor" and a "canoeist, tree farmer, and choir member" whose talents extend far beyond the extensive research he has conducted.

Quoting Salust in regard to Cato, May closed his speech with this description of Cederberg: "He cultivated modesty, propriety, austerity; he preferred to be, rather than to seem, a good man."

Cederberg’s address, entitled "Getting it all Together," spoke of life as being made up of separate particles of work and play. He said that we must carve holes through the doors of these different particles of ourselves to make our lives whole.

Cederberg also described how, as a child of eight, his interest in science was sparked by a visit to the Denver Museum of Natural History, where he first encountered dinosaurs. From that moment, Cederberg knew he wanted to study science for the rest of his life.

Cederberg concluded by describing himself as not only a man of science, but a lso a man of faith and said that faith and science are compatible. For Cederberg, science is not the enemy of religion, and we must strive to keep the doors open between faith and knowledge.

President Christopher Thomforde spoke briefly following Cederberg’s address, praising Cederberg’s perseverance through his years at St. Olaf and the value of his presence as a mentor and professor alike.

Honors Day 2005 concluded with the singing of "Fram! Fram! St. Olaf," the college hymn, and a benediction by Thomforde.

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