Honors Day to Cite Academic Achievement at The University of Texas at Austin

The 60th Annual Honors Day celebration at The University of Texas at Austin on April 12 will honor the academic accomplishments of 6,410 students during two ceremonies in Gregory Gymnasium. Of the 2008 honorees, 4,997 students will be given the honorary title of College Scholar and 1,413 will be recognized as Distinguished College Scholars.

Introduced in 1948, Honors Day is the occasion when students who have achieved academic excellence are honored by academic officers and deans, members of the faculty and student leaders. It is an important prelude to Commencement. The Honors Day Convocation includes a procession of student honorees, presentation of medallions to Distinguished College Scholars by academic deans, inspirational messages and celebratory music.

The first ceremony at 10 a.m. on April 12 will honor Distinguished College Scholars and College Scholars from the School of Architecture, McCombs School of Business, College of Education, Jackson School of Geosciences, College of Liberal Arts and the School of Nursing. Lauren R. Koehler, a junior, Plan II Honors student and 2007 Harry S. Truman Scholar, will provide remarks as the honor students' representative. Dhananjay Jagannathan, a senior Plan II Honors, philosophy, classics student and nominee for the 2008 Beinecke Memorial Scholarship will serve as student marshal for the procession.

The second ceremony at 2 p.m. on April 12 will honor Distinguished College Scholars and College Scholars from the College of Communication, Cockrell School of Engineering, College of Fine Arts, College of Natural Sciences, College of Pharmacy and the School of Social Work. Sarah H. Miller, a senior, physics and astronomy honors student and 2008 Rhodes Scholar, will provide remarks as the honor students' representative. Yuxuan Wang, a senior biochemistry honors student and 2007 Goldwater Scholar will serve as student marshal for the procession.

Roderick P. Hart, dean of the College of Communication, will deliver the 2008 Honors Day Convocation address at both ceremonies. Hart holds the Allan B. Shivers Chair in Communication and Government and the Walter Cronkite Regents Chair in Communication.

Hart is a member of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers at The University of Texas at Austin and has served as Dean of the College of Communication since 2004. He has taught at the university since 1979. He is the author of numerous publications and journal articles and more than 90 convention papers. Hart has co-edited two series of books. He has received grant support from the Ford Foundation, Carnegie Foundation, Pew Charitable Trusts, Annenberg Foundation, Exxon Foundation, David Ross Foundation and the Kaltenborn Foundation. A former Woodrow Wilson Fellow, Hart is currently listed in Who's Who in America, the Directory of American Scholars, International Who's Who in Education and American Men and Women of Science. His area of special interest is politics and the mass media.

To qualify for participation in Honors Day and be designated a College Scholar, a student must be registered as an undergraduate and have a grade-point average of at least 3.50. Distinguished College Scholars are undergraduates with an in-residence university grade-point average of at least 3.80. Scholars in both categories also must meet other criteria to qualify for participation in the Honors Day program.

Faculty guests join student honorees in the procession and are seated next to them at the convocation. A brass quintet from the university's Butler School of Music will present the music for the occasion and all participating students will receive orange and white honors cords provided by the University Co-op.

The university's Tower lighting will be configured on the evening of April 12 to represent academic achievement in recognition of students cited at the Honors Day program. The main body of the Tower will be illuminated in orange and the top portion crowned in white.

Complimentary parking for Honors Day will be available in the Brazos Garage, located at Brazos Street and East Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Participants should inform the attendant that they are attending the Honors Day Ceremony.