Every student looks forward to graduation. At the moment of Commencement, when students walk across the stage and receive their diplomas, they are usually surrounded by many of the people who have supported them on that journey—family and friends, faculty, staff members and pastors.
But, in the last twenty years, there have been literally hundreds of Gordon graduates who may have never crossed that platform without the advice and encouragement of one woman. That support has often come in her guidance during their days when they had still not chosen their majors. For years she almost single-handedly advised all of the undecided majors at the College. Even when we tried to spread the load around many students still sought her out for special counsel.
That support has often come in the long conversations that she has had with students who were discouraged and ready to quit. That support has faithfully come in the legal and professional advice she has offered students with learning disorders. Long before it was fashionable, she championed the ethical responsibility of the institution to respect the learning disabilities of some students, and has faithfully endeavored to help the College find that right balance between accommodating legitimate needs and holding students accountable. Over the years she has prepared numerous students to be tutors of one another, and many of Gordon’s tutors have been asked to give presentations of their work at professional conferences.
So far, she has never been our Commencement speaker, but when you put on that cap and gown be assured that one of the true stars of the day is the recipient of the second of our inaugural Provost’s Awards, the director of the Academic Support Center, Ann Seavey.
February 26, 2007