Academic Awards, Karofsky Teaching Prize Presented on 2017 Honors Day

Bowdoin College held its 21st annual Honors Day ceremony May 10, 2017, in Kanbar Auditorium, Studzinski Recital Hall, to recognize the academic accomplishments of Bowdoin students.

In addition, the 2017 Karofsky Prize was announced. The Karofsky Prize is awarded annually at Bowdoin to an outstanding junior faculty member who demonstrates a great ability to impart knowledge, inspire enthusiasm, and stimulate intellectual curiosity.

Last year, the prize was awarded to Assistant Professor of English Maggie Solberg. Traditionally the previous year’s Karofsky prize winner gives an address at Honors Day, but Solberg was unable to attend the event this year.

President Clayton Rose presented this year’s Karofsky Prize to Assistant Professor of Religion Todd Berzon. A specialist in the religions of late antiquity, early Christianity, and theory and method in the study of religion, Berzon received his Ph.D., M.Phil., M.A., and B.A. from Columbia University. His teaching focuses on religion in the ancient world, and includes courses on the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, human sacrifice, and gender and sexuality in early Christianity.

The award is generously funded by members of the Karofsky family, including Peter S. Karofsky ’62, Paul I. Karofsky ’66, and David M. Karofsky ’93.

After academic department and program chairs presented the departmental prizes to students, President Rose offered a few remarks. “This is an amazing evening,” he said, adding, “You look through the program and you listen…to the array of disciplines that are represented on the stage this evening, and it’s a remarkable thing to see what all our students are engaged in. And then you dig a little deeper and you see the complexity of the work that they’re doing within the disciplines, and the nature of the intellectual projects they each engage in. Then you dig a little bit deeper and you find out that our students are deeply complicated, interesting, amazing human beings, that in addition to these remarkable accomplishments, are out doing all kinds of of other things, on our campus and beyond. It is something to behold, and it is really a tribute to what the liberal arts is all about.”

He also praised the students for being willing to come to Bowdoin to be their best selves and to do their best work. “We could not be prouder of you,” he said.

Finally, Rose said he was grateful to the faculty, for their devotion, skill, and dedication to working with students.

The evening’s musical interlude, Concerto in D minor for Two Violins by J.S. Bach, was performed by Hanna Renedo ’18 on violin, Anne McKee ’20 on violin, and George Lopez, Bowdoin’s Beckwith Artist in Residence, on piano.

Cordelia Zars ’17 and Adam Glynn ’17 led the audience in the singing of the alma mater, “Raise Songs to Bowdoin.”

Photos by Dennis Griggs

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