Undergraduate students were recently recognized for their distinguished academic achievements at the 88th annual Honors Convocation celebration at Hill Auditorium. (Credit: U-M Photo Services)
Undergraduate students were recently recognized for their distinguished academic achievements at the 88th annual Honors Convocation celebration at Hill Auditorium. (Credit: U-M Photo Services)

BY LINDSEY DESMET, Guest Writer

University of Michigan – Ann Arbor’s Hill Auditorium was filled with faculty, students and proud family members on March 18. The University’s annual Honors Convocation ceremony gave praise to students who have maintained academic excellence at the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses.

Students qualifying for James B. Angell Scholar or University Honors designations were invited to the ceremony, as well as recipients of the William J. Branstrom Freshman Prize and Branstrom Book Prize. The event was free and open to friends and family.

In order to be named a James B. Angell scholar, a student must earn a straight “A” record in at least two consecutive terms while taking a minimum of 14 credit hours per term.

Students with two to six qualifying semesters were seated in auditorium with their families and asked by Provost Catherine A. Davy to stand and be recognized in the middle of the ceremony. Students with seven to nine qualifying terms were seated on the stage. In total, 112 Dearborn students were listed as James B. Angell scholars, one of which fell in the seven to nine term range.

University Honors are given when a student earns a 3.5 or higher grade point average while taking a minimum of 14 credit hours during a term. A total of 465 Dearborn students achieved University Honors.

The William J. Branstrom Freshman Prize is awarded to first-term freshmen raking in the top five percent of their class, within their school or college. A minimum of 14 graded credits during the Fall semester is required for this honor. Recipients are also able to select a book prize. Dearborn’s 43 Branstrom Freshman Prize recipients each selected a book from a provided list at the U of M – Dearborn bookstore, which they received along with a bookplate containing their name, the name of their award, and the date of the Honors Convocation.

Students weren’t the only honorees at this year’s convocation. Six tenured Ann Arbor professors named Arthur F. Thurnau Professors, a title given for “outstanding contributions to undergraduate education.”

Each year, the honors convocation has a different theme on which all of the speakers focus their presentations. Ann Arbor junior Yourui Yeo, 2011 Arthur F. Thurnau Professor Barry G. Rabe and University President Mary Sue Coleman spoke on the theme of “Making a Difference in the World: Do We Need to Travel to Understand Global Affairs?”

While no physical awards are handed out at the Honors Convocation, the accolades will appear on each student’s transcript.