At the convocation, a variety of awards were received. Alumni Achievement Awards were presented to Richard Jensen, class of 1959, Charles, class of 1965, and Anne, class of 1966, Reynolds and David Rogers, class of 1982.
The award of this year’s Honor Walk Student was also announced. This award is given to a senior, recognized as outstanding in scholarship, campus activities and leadership potential. The title of Florida Southern Honor Walk Student 2014 was awarded to senior Katherine Luecht.
Leucht is a double major in Psychology and interpersonal/organizational communication. Luecht says that her focus while at FSC was always to give back to the community and be involved. She describes her fellow nominees as “phenomenal members of the community” and overall honored to “be a part of such a group of accomplished young people.”
All nominees were asked to stand at convocation and then the winner of the award was announced.
“I was completely overwhelmed with emotion and excitement and nervousness,” Leucht said. “I just kept thinking, ‘Do not trip. Do not trip.’”
Katie Luecht also passes on her advice for underclassmen at Florida Southern to ask for help when needed and don’t be afraid to be an active participant in your college life.
“Get involved in activities and organizations that are meaningful to you,” Leucht said. “You have all the power to make the most out of your time at Florida Southern.”
Another award given was the Janice Wade Outstanding Teaching Award which recognizes excellence in classroom teaching. This award was received by Catherine Eskin, Ph.D Associate Professor of English.
Alumni and FSC students were then invited to the unveiling of the official plaque designating Florida Southern College as a National Historic Landmark on the Annie Pfeiffer Chapel lawn.
Friday night, all alumni were invited to a show by the Florida Southern Jazz Ensemble, which according to the FSC website, is “known for their ability to capture the essence of styles from swing to bebop.”
Saturday provided a variety of options for entertainment for alumni and students. Everyone was invited to participate in a 5K fun run around the campus as an option to see the recent additions such as the Usonian House, Barnett Residential Life Center and Christoverson Humanities Building.
The dedication of Ruth K. Thrift’s Rose Garden also took place Saturday afternoon. In memoriam of Mrs. Thrift, wife of former President Dr. Charles T. Thrift, Jr., the garden was dedicated by her daughters and husband. Ruth’s Rose Garden is modeled after classical 19th-century French gardens and designed by gardener and rosarian, Stephen Scanniello.
The original Outlaws, the local John Rhey Band and Highway 37 South performed Saturday evening on Mr. George’s Green. Approximately 200 alumni, students, teachers and Lakeland locals gathered for an afternoon of music.
Temple Thomas Brooks, class of 1982, is one alumni who traveled to Lakeland this weekend to connect with fellow alumni- coming all the way from South Carolina. Brooks is an Alpha Delta Pi alumna and has not been back to the campus in 35 years.
While reminiscing about the old campus and talking about the new changes, Brooks said how much fun it was to see her old classmates and even the new students.
“I love how everyone is so nice and inviting,” Brooks said. “No matter what Greek affiliation or none at all, everyone on campus treats everyone like family.”