Religion in

Honors Day 2007

If it's April, then it's time to entice a couple student workers (such as Karissa Rinas (left) and Sarah Luken) to put up the banners that list all of the recipients of the Department's Silverstein Fellowship, awarded this year for the sixth time. (Later, under the cover of darkness, the Department Chair brought out a laser level to check that the banner's were hung correctly.)

Much like like year, the Department hosted a Religion in Culture lecture during Honors Week, delivered this year by Prof. Ted Miller, a theorist in the Department of Political Science. He spoke on "the Scottish play" and the manner in which it was revised by William Davenant (1606-1668).

As in the past, the Department hosted a small reception, on the Manly Hall veranda during Honors Day (April 6, 2007), immediately following the College of Arts & Sciences' Honors Convocation. It was at the earlier College ceremony that Prof. McCutcheon (left) presented graduating senior Stephanie Brennan (right, pictured here with her mother and grandmother) with the award for Outstanding Achievement in the Academic Study of Religion.

Prof. Ramey (back to camera--trying to conserve body heat) speaking with REL students (left to right): Justin "My hands are freezing" Nelson, Chris "It's cold so I wore a sweater" Hurt, and Karissa Rinas. It was indeed a chilly day on the balcony, so little spots of sunlight were much coveted.

Prof. Murphy (left), once again our reception's master of ceremonies, speaking with Prof. McCutcheon, with Stephanie Brennan at right. Because the food was, shall we say, a bit late, there was much glancing at watches, guessing when to begin the presentations.

Dan Mullins (center), a double major in REL and Anthropology, along with his father, Dr. Larry Mullins, a sociologist who earned his B.A. and M.A. at the University of Alabama, and who is now the Dean of Liberal Arts at Auburn-Montgomery(with an Honors Convocation of his own, at which to officiate, in a few weeks).

Did we say that the food was late and that it was cold on our shaded balcony? Well, at least the grass cutting/industrial leaf blower crew didn't show up like last year.

Honors Day is always a chance for faculty to meet parents and for families to see some of the classes where our students take their courses. Pictured above are Harrison Graydon with his parents.

No food yet? Well, the show must go on. Prof. Murphy (right) tells the Silverstein recipients that, along with their envelope (which details whether they receive a $500 or $1,000 award), they will also each receive a book, The Little Book of Plagiarism, which argues that, because copying and borrowing are the basis for culture, plagiarism ought not to be a legal but, instead, an ethical offense. Prof. Ramey (left), also presented each person with a little something extra, such as "Look and Feel Canadian Breath Spray" or "Wash Away Your Sins Lip Balm." (Roll over the above photo to see the plaques being brought out, bearing the recipients' names, and which hang in our Department lounge.)

Jennifer Alfano, graduating major (in English and REL), main office student worker, and the newest and brightest employee of Whole Foods Market in Birmingham, then stepped up to make a presentation to the winners of the annual caption contest--this year sponsored by the student association.

Sarah Luken, who has worked in the Department for two years, with her fiancé, Aaron Hydrick (rumor has it that a 2008 wedding awaits them). Unbeknownst to Sarah, standing on that chilly balcony looking so forlorn, her life is about to change--forever...

Yes, you guessed it: Sarah's and Karissa's lives were altered in the blink of an eye because they each won the caption contest! (Their handiwork will soon be posted on the Department's main page.) And what was their prize? Roll over their picture to find out. (What do you think--better or worse than last year's prize?)

With the presentations over, Prof. Jacobs, far left, speaks with Hugh Thompson's father. Hugh, far right, won both of the Department of Philosophy's undergraduate awards this year--receiving them, at the College's morning convocation, from Dr. Norv Richards, who had some extremely nice things to say about Hugh's class contributions and his writing skills.

Did we also say that it was a bit windy as well? Betty Dickey, who once again was our photographer for the day, gathered up the Silverstein Fellows who were able to attend our reception, and headed downstairs for a few photos. (Apparently something funny happened, hence the hilarity of the rollover image.) Pictured above are (back, left to right): Sarah Luken, Karissa Rinas, Harrison Graydon, Dan Mullins, Stephanie Brennan, Keke Pounds; front, left to right: Jennifer Alfano and Jaci Gresham.

On the way back, they were joined by Sarah Kelly (right, second from the front), who timed it just right to join her peers for another picture.

Congratulations to the twelve recipients and thanks to their families for making the trip to Tuscaloosa, where they at least had some sexy pop to tide them over (the sugar content alone kept us going while we waited the food to show up--which it eventually did...).

Thanks to Betty Dickey, Donna Martin, and Justin Nelson for helping to get ready for the reception.