Mary Clare Mulhern
Although students tend to say that they look forward to (or dread) graduation, there is another special ceremony, called convocation, that is an important part of sending the graduating seniors off from the university.
This is when the valedictorian and a selected member of the faculty give speeches to the graduating class, and the seniors’ plans and awards are announced.
Convocation this year is at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 3, in the Church of the Incarnation. English professor Dr. Scott Crider was chosen by the graduating class to give the faculty address.
“Convocation is my favorite UD event,” he said. “It’s the moment the faculty thanks and recognizes the students for their accomplishments, the moment we find out what all their plans are. It’s more intimate and relaxed than graduation.”
Crider has had the chance to teach quite a few of the graduates. He describes them as “intelligent, original and sometimes arch.”
He recognizes the honor of being selected to give this speech.
“Students would like to hear from all of us, but that’s not possible, so the speaker gets to represent the faculty, which is also an honor since the UD faculty is full of such fine teachers,” Crider said.
He’s been enjoying composing his remarks to the seniors. He has heard many amazing speeches from
his colleagues and the valedictorians in the past, so he knows that “the bar is high.”
Jared Rovny is the valedictorian for the class of 2012. You may recognize him as one of the physics students who has been performing experiments on the Mall recently.
Rovny was surprised when he saw his name on the ballot for valedictorian elections, and surprised again when he got the email saying he had been elected.
He is from Weatherford, Texas, and he has been homeschooled but has also attended both public and private schools.
He chose UD because his visit “struck a chord.” Other schools had a “commercial mentality about getting a degree,” but UD was different, he said.
He started his UD career as a math major, but switched to physics when he realized that he liked applying concepts.
During his time here, he has created an impressive resume. After freshman year, he studied astronomy in Colorado with physics professor Dr. Richard Olenick. The next summer, he spent the month of July with one other student in Ukraine at the observatories at Crimea.
The two students and Olenick began and ended the trip in Moscow. Rovny was sorry to leave after only a month because he was becoming more conversational in Russian.
Last summer, he went to California to help launch the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), the mission of which is to strengthen U.S. security. This summer, he will return to LLNL before heading off to Yale University to begin his doctorate in physics.
Rovny does not know yet exactly what he will say in his speech, but he wants to say a special thank-you to all of his friends.
The university will award approximately 300 bachelors’, masters’ and doctoral degrees on Sunday, May 13 in its annual commencement ceremony. On the same weekend, the UD School of Ministry will present certificates and pins to students who have completed the biblical studies program and to graduate students who have also completed their degrees.