Saluting Teaching Excellence
Academic achievement prizes, prize scholarships, and other recognition of student accomplishments were announced at Hamilton’s first virtual Class & Charter Day convocation on May 11. President David Wippman announced the award recipients from the Chapel in the annual event that this year was viewable online.
Among the top prizes, Jiin Jeong ’21 received the Milton F. Fillius Jr./Joseph Drown Prize Scholarship. One hundred seventy-three other students were honored. Professor of Mathematics Robert Kantrowitz ’82 and Joe Kremer ’90, P’18 gave remarks. Faculty teaching awards and dean’s scholarly achievement prizes were also announced.
Kantrowitz noted that Hamilton’s inaugural Class & Charter Day was celebrated in 1950. “Without a doubt, the year 2020 marks the first virtual celebration in that span of 70 years,” he said.
Kantrowitz recalled other Hamilton “firsts” that he has witnessed. When he entered the Chapel in the fall of 1978 for the first assembly of his new class, “it was co-ed — the first time in Hamilton’s 166-year history. It was the first class to be admitted to the newly merged Hamilton and Kirkland colleges.” In addition, the new Margaret Bundy Scott Field House opened, and 1978-79 marked the first season for intercollegiate women’s basketball at Hamilton.
Kremer, a brain cancer survivor, shared his experiences as they relate to facing difficult and unexpected challenges such as the current pandemic. He cited the importance of maintaining a sense of humor “that can balance any difficult situation” and urged students to “be thankful for the positives — search for them, find them, and learn to express that gratitude.”
“It’s important that you enter challenges with the expectation that you’re supposed to learn something from them and come out better,” Kremer said.
This year’s Fillius/Drown Prize Scholarship winner, Jeong served as vice president of Student Assembly in 2018-19. Last summer the computer science and economics double major interned in General Electric Power’s Digital Technology Leadership Program.
Jeong was president of Coding Team, a violist in the College Orchestra, a computer science teaching assistant, and a Digital Humanities Initiative intern. She recently spent more than 40 hours in Utica helping low-income refugees from Myanmar, Sudan, and Iran fill out tax forms and learn English. A dean’s list student, she participated in the Levitt Leadership Institute in 2018 and studied abroad in Budapest in 2019 and Sweden in 2020.
The Milton F. Fillius, Jr./Joseph Drown Prize Scholarship, established by the Joseph Drown Foundation, is awarded to a junior who has been very successful academically, has demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities at Hamilton, and who is likely to make a significant contribution to society in the future.