Continuing a tradition that dates back to 1928, Connecticut College has honored 12 seniors as Winthrop Scholars.
The designation of Winthrop Scholar is the highest academic honor bestowed by the College. Reserved for students who demonstrate exceptional scholarship, the honor is named for John Winthrop the Younger, who founded the city of New London and served as governor of Connecticut.
Winthrop Scholars are also the first members of their class selected for membership in Phi Beta Kappa, the national honor society of undergraduate higher education.
At a Feb. 28 ceremony recognizing the scholars, Associate Dean of the College Marina Melendez commended the scholars for pursuing academics with vigor and commitment, and encouraged them to reflect on the opportunities they have been given as they prepare to graduate.
“Be active, be critical, be kind,” Melendez told the scholars. “I charge you to lead and change the world.”
Assistant Professor of Psychology Jeff Moher gave the keynote address, “What I want to be when I grow up.” Moher reflected on his childhood dreams of becoming—among other things—a dentist, a musician and an astronaut, and on his path toward a career in psychology. He encouraged the scholars to find things that they enjoy and can see themselves doing every day, and to embrace the process of developing their careers.
“Being a Winthrop Scholar means that you have evidence of your own success. To get to this point, you have done things and you have developed skills that are going to be really useful to you going forward,” he said. “I hope this gives you some faith and confidence as you go into the world, because at some point—whatever it is you want to be when you grow up—you are going to encounter difficult things, you are going to encounter failures. You’ve shown that you have this ability, this persistence, so I hope any difficulties you encounter don’t deter you from pursuing what you love.”