On Friday evening, May 1, the University of Lynchburg recognized some of its best and brightest at a virtual academic awards ceremony hosted by Dr. William Lokar, dean of the Lynchburg College of Arts and Sciences.
Before announcing the University’s two most prestigious student awards, the Robert L. Hill Distinguished Senior and Richard Clarke Sommerville Scholar, Lokar made a few remarks and asked viewers to take a “moment of silence” to reflect on their experiences at the University of Lynchburg.
“I’d like to thank the countless faculty, staff, and students for their efforts over the past six weeks,” he said. “This has truly been a challenging time, but it goes to show you that when you come together as a Hornet family, anything is possible.”
Dr. Allison Jablonski, provost, also made brief remarks, calling the online event a “celebration of all that is good with our students and faculty.”
The Hill Award was presented to Kimberly Mendez Lemús, a double major in international relations and security studies and Spanish from Columbia, Maryland.
After the announcement, Mendez Lemús talked about participating in Model UN and European Union simulations, studying abroad in Mexico, and working as a writing tutor, and said those experiences were “crucial in helping me recognize what I’m truly passionate about and … helped me become a very engaged member of the Lynchburg community.”
The 2019-20 Sommerville Scholar, which was officially presented last fall, was Christopher “Hiatt” O’Connor, a philosophy-political science major and Westover Honors scholar from Westminster, Maryland.
Traditionally, the Sommerville Scholar speaks at the Academic Awards Banquet each spring. O’Connor kept up the tradition, albeit virtually, speaking about the value of a liberal arts education, or, as he described it, “a genuine education.”
O’Connor also will be featured in the Spring 2020 Lynchburg Magazine.
To watch the entire awards ceremony and read about all of the award recipients, visit the Student Awards webpage.