Students, faculty and staff receive honors at Commencement

Fri, 05/13/2011 - 2:15pm
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MOBILE, Ala. – Distinguished members of the graduating class, as well as faculty and staff, were honored at Commencement on May 7, 2011. 

Toolen Award – presented to the graduating senior who has achieved the highest grade point average during the entire course of study, having completed their degree program with straight A’s or a perfect 4.00 grade point average. – William Christopher Smith

Ignatian Awards – presented to one graduating woman and one graduating man who have fulfilled best the ideals of Jesuit education for scholarship, leadership and service during their four years at Spring Hill College. These are the highest student awards bestowed by the College. – Megan T. Blanchard and Cory S. Bronenkamp

Edward B. Moody, S.J., Teacher of the Year Award – made annually to the professor who, in the judgment of a committee composed of a broad cross-section of the academic community, has displayed excellence in the fulfillment of the teaching mission of the College. – Dr. David F. Dean, Professor of Biology

Dawson Research Award – made to the professor who, in the judgment of a faculty committee, has displayed excellence in scholarly work. – Dr. Andrew D. Sharp, Professor of Accounting

Rewak Award – presented to the faculty or staff member who represents in a significant way the Jesuit ideal of service. The recipient is an exemplar of cura personalis. – Margarita Perez, Associate Dean of Students

Emeriti Faculty – Three distinguished members of the faculty will retire this year and were recognized for their service to the College:

Dr. Charles A. Cheney has been a faculty member in the Department of Mathematics since 1984. He has served Spring Hill College with quiet distinction as a teacher, a department chairperson, a member and chairperson of numerous faculty committees, an advisor, and a colleague. It is in his role as a teacher that Dr. Cheney has made an enduring difference in the lives of students. Over the years, many students braved their fear of mathematics to enroll in the required core curriculum classes that he taught. Dr. Cheney taught every one who wanted to learn with patience. As he challenged them with high standards, he also offered unfailing support and encouragement. Some other students discovered their love of mathematics while under Dr. Cheney’s instruction. Year after year, Dr. Cheney has sent them on to advanced study ready for success and prepared to make their own contributions. Spring Hill College has conferred the title Professor Emeritus upon Dr. Cheney.

Thomas J. Loehr has been a faculty member in the Department of Communication Arts since 1975. He has served the College with extraordinary diligence and purpose as a teacher, a department chairperson, a division chairperson, a leader within the faculty, an advisor, and a colleague. Professor Loehr, at heart, is an artist who creates art with photography and documentary video. In his creative work, one can see that he has a gift for finding beauty and dignity in the everyday world. As a teacher, advisor, and colleague, Professor Loehr has demonstrated the same talent. He sees the dignity and the unlimited capacity for good in every student he teaches and every colleague he collaborates with. And, because he recognizes this beauty in others, his students and his colleagues can see it to. In this way, Professor Loehr has been a model for living as leaders in service to others. Spring Hill College has conferred the title Professor Emeritus upon Thomas J. Loehr.

Dr. Mark L. Starr served as a faculty member in the Department of Philosophy since 1990. He has served the College and its students conscientiously as a teacher, a department chairperson, a member of numerous faculty committees, and an advisor. An excellent teacher, Dr. Starr met most students when they enrolled for the required core curriculum course in Introductory Logic. Although few students entered his class with an idea of the significance of the course, by the end of the semester Dr. Starr usually led them to appreciate the value, the challenge, and the fun of thinking more clearly. An effective department chairperson, Dr. Starr also distinguished himself through the quality of the colleagues he helped recruit to Spring Hill College and the encouragement and respect he offered as they established their own careers. Spring Hill College has conferred the title Associate Professor Emeritus upon Dr. Starr.