By Cassy Sottile

News Editor

On Aug. 30, the Washington College community came together for the annual fall Convocation.

The event commenced with WACappella singing the National Anthem, and after, WC President Kurt Landgraf and Student Government Association President Victoria Cline welcomed the audience.

“Being a community is such a central part of who we are here, and each and every one of you is an intricate piece of the fabric that makes us WAC. My hope for this year is that we remember the importance of our purpose, by taking the time to speak courageously, to listen selflessly, to feel passionately, to dream greatly and to love deeply,” Cline said.

Patrick McMenamin Jr., chair of the alumni board, presented Adrienne Nash Melendez, Class of 2005, with the Alumni Horizon Ribbon Award, which recognizes alumni of the past 15 years who have exemplified leadership and scholarship.

Melendez, a management analyst for the Department of Veterans Affairs’ National Center on Homelessness, is responsible for VA integration into the coordinated entry process ensuring all people experiencing a housing crisis have connections to assistance.

“Melendez is making great strides towards ending homelessness among our military veterans,” Landgraf.

Julie Markin, president of the Theta chapter of Mary- land, presented the First Year Awards for Excellence in Liberal Learning to more than 10 students who just began their second year at the College. Provost and Dean of the College Patrice Diquinzio presented more academic honors, including the First Year Scholarship medal, the Visitors and Governors medal, the Interfraternity Panhellenic Council Awards, the Middendorf Scholars and the Francis Taylor Chemistry Prize.

Landgraf presented Dr. Sherry Magill with the Award for Excellence.

“[Her] focus has been on growing strong, responsive and adaptable nonprofit organizations bound by democratic values. Guided by the intentions of this, her namesake organization makes grants in a number of areas. Throughout her career, first at Washington College and then at Jessie Ball duPont Fund, Dr. Magill has been our guardian angel and our advisor,” Landgraf said.

From left to right, Dr. Aaron Krochmal, Dr. Sherry Magill, and Richard Creighton listen to President Kurt Landgraf give his opening address.

Magill served on the leadership team of the Jessie Ball du- Pont Fund from 1991 until June 2018. She helped guide the work of the foundation to sustain strong nonprofit organizations, expand the Fund’s philanthropic impact, and oversee the development of the Jessie Ball duPont Center, a place for philanthropy and nonprofits. Magill currently serves as the vice chair of the Council on Foundations’ board and is a member of the Council of Independent Colleges’ board.

“This place was founded to educate young people and make responsible citizens. This educational experience here isn’t really about you. It’s about us, it’s about the collective we. It’s about a purpose beyond individual selves — it’s about community,” Magill said.

Dr. Aaron Krochmal, associate professor of biology and winner of the Award for Distinguished Teaching, gave his address. Krochmal, a member of the WC faculty since 2008, specializes in organismal biology, specifically how reptiles perceive and interact with their environments.

“Stand up for honest principles. We need to take every opportunity to share this message with everyone who will listen, and especially those people who will not. We need to fervently declare in all available venues the value of a diverse liberal education. We need to remind, restate, repeat this time and time again without fail. We need to say it louder, this time for the people in the back that the broad integrated liberal learning that only liberal arts can provide is the only way we can cultivate an inquisitive, innovative, inclusive, productive, courageous, compassionate, and moral citizen,” Krochmal said.

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