Seniors given awards on Class Day

by Charles Davant | 6/19/96 5:00am

Eight graduating seniors and History professor Kenneth Shewmaker were given awards at the Class Day ceremony in the Bema June 8.

Shewmaker was given Dartmouth's Distinguished Teaching Award, which he received once before. The award winner is chosen by a vote of the graduating class.

Dean of the College Lee Pelton presented Class of 1996 Valedictorian Marc Ginsburg '96 with the award for having the highest grade point average. Ginsburg, a double major in biology and Asian studies, finished with a 3.97 GPA.

Pelton also recognized salutatorians Justin Cooper '96 and Justin Ruben '96, who both scored 3.96 GPAs.

Dani Brune '96 was given an award for making the most significant contribution to women at Dartmouth.

Sylvia Langford, the 1996 class dean, presented Ruth Morgan '96 with an award recognizing her contribution to the Programming Board and the Office of Residential Life.

Monica Oberkofler '96, College President James Freedman's intern, was given an award for making a significant contribution to the stature of the College.

Matt Silvia '96 received an award for concern for others, kindness and good fellowship. The award included a stipend to be used for graduate study.

Sharon Carlsberg '96 was given the Deans' Prize for contributing to the quality of life on campus.

Freedman presented awards to a graduating man and woman who made great contributions. Shakari Cameron '96 was given the Philip D. McInnis Class of 1936 Women's Award, and Tom Caputo '96 was given the Barrett Cup for all-around achievement by a man.

Class of 1996 President Brendan Doherty, who served as master of ceremonies with Caputo, began the Class Day ceremony with a speech.

Doherty began three separate speeches on friendships, challenges and education. He abandoned each speech after a few seconds to demonstrate that "the important thing is that we make a beginning."

Doherty said graduates anxious about their future should try to make a beginning rather than worry about the rest of their lives.

Education Chair Robert Binswanger, who was chosen as the faculty speaker by the graduates, defended the study of education as part of a liberal arts curriculum.

The future of Dartmouth's education department has been uncertain ever since the Social Science Council recommended its abolition during Spring term. A vote of the entire faculty of arts and sciences is required to eliminate a department.

"Education deserves a place as a social science. It deserves to be part of the liberal arts curriculum," he said. "If public education has failed, that is all the more reason."

Binswanger also gave graduates some advice.

Binswanger said graduates should familiarize themselves with American history and should shun cynicism.

Oberkofler, who was chosen by the senior executive committee as Class Orator, gave a speech about what Dartmouth gives its graduates.

Senior Class Historians Daniel Gonzalez, Herlena Harris, Kate Shanahan and Thomas Vale satirized their Dartmouth experience in several skits. One skit illustrated a disastrous trip to the registrar.

Caputo concluded the ceremony saying, "The Class of 1996 has left Dartmouth a little better than we found it."

"Dartmouth has made us a little better than it found us, too," he said.

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