May 16, 2011
Honorary degree recipient and 1964 Wooster graduate E. Scott Geller "beats the drum" for the value of a Wooster education at the College's 141st commencement ceremony on Monday morning in Timken Gymnasium.
View the 2011 Commencement Photo Gallery and Video Highlights.
WOOSTER, Ohio — Graduating seniors at The College of Wooster gained a fresh perspective about their newly minted degrees after hearing E. Scott Geller “beat the drum” for the value of a Wooster education at the College’s 141st commencement ceremony on Monday morning in Timken Gymnasium.
Geller, a professor of psychology at Virginia Tech and a 1964 Wooster graduate, joined President Emeritus R. Stanton Hales in receiving an honorary degree. “I was not a good student (in elementary and high school),” he said. “I repeated second grade and I did not do well on my SAT, but Wooster gave me a chance, and I am very grateful for that.”
Geller showed his appreciation and his enthusiasm through a creative demonstration of visual learning — playing a bright silver snare drum while explaining how his instructor helped him to figure out how to play a drum roll by "breaking it down" and then putting the elements back together. He went on to talk about the role of stress in motivating one to learn — a familiar lesson to the 431 graduates who had recently come through the I.S. experience (Independent Study: Wooster’s nationally acclaimed undergraduate research program). He also noted the importance of mentored learning — another tenet of I.S. “Practice, with feedback, makes perfect,” he said.
Hales, who served as Wooster’s 10th president from 1995-2007, reflected on how quickly time passes. “When I came to Wooster in 1990, most of you had just been born,” he said in addressing the senior class. “When I became president (after one year as interim president), you were entering first grade.
“Time can be a heartless opponent,” he added, “but it’s never too late to learn.” He then proceeded to share three important principles he thought the graduates ought to know: (1) There are so many wonderful people in this world, one should never be discouraged by those few who are not so wonderful; (2) There is no more satisfying place to work than one where everyone works together, unselfishly, for the same purpose; and (3) Humans between the ages 17-22 (i.e. college students) are the most fascinating in the world.
Hales also extolled the virtues of I.S., calling it “an excellent training ground for self-motivation” that makes Wooster distinctive, and concluded his remarks by asking members of the Class of 2011 to make a list of what they had learned during their four years at Wooster, suggesting that “the list will serve you well.”
Current Wooster President Grant Cornwell opened the proceedings (forced inside by damp and chilly weather conditions) following a procession of students and faculty led by the Scot Pipers and Drummers. “I will always remember the Class of 2011,” he said, reflecting on the past four years. “We arrived together at Wooster in 2007, and I have cherished every moment of the time we have shared together (notwithstanding a few pranks along the way).”
Cornwell went on to encourage the soon-to-be graduates by telling them that it is an exciting time to be 21 and a graduate of The College of Wooster. “You could not have a better preparation for the changing world that you will lead,” he said. “The value of your Wooster education will be revealed to you many times in the years ahead.”
Cornwell also recognized several major award winners, including Bastiaan van de Lagemaat, who received the Dan F. Lockhart Outstanding Senior Award; Sara Falkoff and Virginia Henry, who received the Jonas O. Notestein Prize as the top students in the class with perfect 4.0 grade point averages; and Stephanie Jarvis, Adel El-Adawy, Jessica Schumacher, and Matthew Pullara, who won the William A. Galpin Award for General Excellence in College Work. In addition, Cornwell saluted retiring faculty and staff members while remembering those who passed away during the last 12 months.
Lauren Camacci and Chelsea Fisher were chosen to share their thoughts on behalf of their classmates, and both did so eloquently. “Wooster has handed us the bricks (in reference to the brick pathways that traverse the campus), but no one can decide where we will go except for us,” said Camacci. Fisher added, “Wooster has left its signature on all of us. We will see how each of us has been shaped by this experience.”
1189 Beall Avenue, Wooster, Ohio 44691. (330) 263-2000
© Map and Directions | Employment | A to Z Index | Contact Us | Terms and Conditions | ScotMail | ScotWeb | ScotBlogs | Libraries | WHN