At Trinity’s 188th Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 18, the College awarded 550 undergraduate degrees and 26 master’s degrees.
The valedictorian was Tram Ngoc Luong of Vietnam, who graduated summa cum laude with honors in international studies: global studies, and the salutatorian was Hannah Brickley of Melrose, Massachusetts, who graduated summa cum laude in biology.
The Trustee Award for Faculty Excellence went to Paul Lauter, Allan K. and Gwendolyn Miles Smith Professor of English, and the Trustee Award for Staff Excellence was awarded to Jason Rojas, director of community relations. Two students–Gaurav Inder Singh Toor and Luong–received the Trustee Award for Student Excellence.
Gerald Moshell, professor of music, was presented with the Thomas Church Brownell Prize for Teaching Excellence, and the Arthur H. Hughes Award for Teaching Excellence was given to two faculty members: Emilie Dressaire, assistant professor of engineering, and Kifah Hanna, assistant professor of language and culture studies.
Commencement speaker Katie Couric, an acclaimed broadcast journalist and a cancer awareness advocate, delivered an inspiring and entertaining address that then-President James F. Jones, Jr. called “one for the memory books.” Couric told the members of the Class of 2014 that passion is “absolutely indispensable” to a successful professional life. “Passion is the fuel of high performance. … If you’re passionate about something, you’re probably already good at it. And, if not, that passion will give you the tenacity you’ll need in order to excel.”
Couric received an honorary doctor of letters degree and was joined by five other distinguished honorands: Julieta Castellanos, a human rights activist and Honduran university president; Eric Roy Fossum ’79, an engineer, physicist, professor, and inventor; Vernon E. Jordan, Jr., a distinguished lawyer, civil rights activist, and former adviser to President Bill Clinton; Paul E. Raether ’68, P’93, ’96, ’01, the longest-sitting Board of Trustees chair in Trinity history, who retired June 30; and Jones, who also retired this year.