AUSTIN, Texas—Nearly 4,000 University of Texas at Austin junior and senior undergraduates who have a grade point average of 3.5 or better will be honored by the University community in ceremonies Saturday (March 27) at the Bass Concert Hall. The 51st Honors Day Program begins at 2 p.m.
For the past few years, UT administrators have been reviewing and changing the ceremony to make the event a more memorable and meaningful experience for students. The Honors Day convocation includes ceremonial elements such as an academic procession, colorful sashes worn by students and faculty, heraldic banners, inspirational messages and celebratory music. Dr. Ellen A. Wartella, dean of the College of Communication, and two honors students will make brief remarks.
All honors students will receive an honor ribbon. In a special presentation, approximately 300 students honored for perfect grade point averages of 4.0 will be invited to the stage to receive commemorative medallions from academic deans. All student honorees are encouraged to invite their faculty to join them in the procession and to be seated with them at the convocation. These students also will be encouraged to wear both the honors ribbons and medallions during spring Commencement ceremonies on May 22.
Introduced in 1948, Honors Day is the occasion when students who have achieved academic excellence are honored by administrative officials, academic deans and members of the faculty. It serves as an important prelude to Commencement. Held for the first time on April 2, 1949, in Hogg Memorial Auditorium, Honors Day was initiated under President Theophilius S. Painter “to recognize those students who have excelled in scholastic work.”
Highlights during this year’s ceremony will be remarks from Parag Vijay Mehta, a Plan II senior and vice chairman of the Texas Union board of directors, and Tara L. Spires, a 1999 British Marshall Scholar and a senior in biochemistry and French. Remarks also will be made by Wartella, who holds the Walter Cronkite Regents Chair in Communication and has published widely on the subject of television’s effect on children.
UT Austin President Larry R. Faulkner will make introductory and closing remarks.
A reception for all honor students and their guests will follow the ceremony.
In addition to the 2 p.m. convocation, a number of the University’s colleges and schools will hold special ceremonies for their students.