Honors Convocation for a slideshow of photos.
Randolph-Macon College held its annual Honors Convocation Ceremony on Friday, May
13, 2011 in Blackwell Auditorium, Center for the Performing Arts. Dozens of students
were presented awards for their academic and co-curricular achievements and contributions
to the college. Additionally, several faculty and staff members were recognized
for their dedication to the college.
Honors Convocation to view a slideshow of photos from the event.
The Thomas Branch Award, presented by Provost William Franz
Recipients: Professors Mathias Bergmann, George Lowry, Ray Berry
This award was established in 1969 to recognize excellence in teaching. The college
received a grant of $25,000 from the Cabell Foundation as a memorial to Thomas Branch,
a member of the Board of the College in 1859. The income from this gift is to be
used for the purpose of supplementing the salary of a faculty member in the hope
of attracting and retaining faculty of distinguished ability and integrity. The
Committee on the Faculty recommended that annual awards be granted by vote of a
select panel of students who are members of
Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Delta Kappa
and the Honors Program.
Mathias Bergmann (history)
joined the faculty in 2004. He earned his B.S. from Eastern Oregon University and
his M.A. and Ph.D. from Washington State University.
“This historian has already been elected to three committees of the faculty,” said
Provost William Franz of Professor Mathias Bergmann. “He also contributed greatly
as a member of the Academic Integrity Council. In addition, Professor Bergmann was
nominated by the college for the State Council for Higher Education for Virginia’s
‘Rising Star’ faculty award.” Bergmann was recently awarded tenure and promotion
George Lowry (economics/business)
joined the faculty in 1984. He earned his B.A. from Morris Harvey College, University
of Charleston, his M.S. from Radford University and his Ph.D. from Virginia Commonwealth
“Professor Lowry is respected as a motivating, effective instructor and mentor,”
said Franz. One student wrote on our end-of-term form, ‘I am forever in debt to
him for the amount of time he has spent for me to learn. This course by far is the
main reason why I came to R-MC.’ A leader in the use of technology, Professor Lowry
led a campus technology initiative in the 1990s, and he was a long-time director
of R-MC’s Bassett Internship Program.”
Ray Berry (fine arts) joined the faculty in 1982. He earned his
B.A. from the University of Virginia and his M.F.A. from the University of North
Carolina at Greensboro.
“Professor Berry has always been a campus leader in interdisciplinary conversations,”
said Franz. “He participated in two Mellon Foundation seminars in the 1980s and
the Wye Faculty Seminar in 1988. One student wrote of his course, ‘A beautiful experience
that has changed me for the best.’ Our resident painter, Professor Berry has garnered
many awards for his work, and now he adds the Thomas Branch Award for Excellence
in Teaching to that list.”
The Samuel Nelson Gray Distinguished Professor Award, presented by President Robert
Recipient: Barry Pfitzner
This award was established by Mrs. Virginia Clark Gray in memory of her husband,
an alumnus and former trustee of Randolph-Macon College. This award was established
to honor the faculty member or senior administrator selected by the president as
the person who has made a distinguished contribution to the college.
Barry Pfitzner (economics/business) joined the faculty in 1982.
He earned his B.S. from Bridgewater College, his M.A. from Old Dominion University
and his Ph.D. from The Catholic University of America. He has served as distinguished
fellow and president of the Virginia Association of Economists, editor of the Virginia
Economic Journal, and an active member of the Southeast Decision Sciences Institute.
“Professor Pfitzner has written and spoken on topics ranging from the unemployment
rate to the U.S.-China balance of trade to freshmen retention rates at colleges
such as Randolph-Macon,” said President Robert R. Lindgren. “His service to the
college has also been remarkable and varied, reflecting his commitment to the total
well-being of this institution and leaving his positive mark on all aspects of Randolph-Macon
The United Methodist Church Exemplary Teacher Award, presented by President Robert
Recipient: Maria Scott
The Board of Higher Education and Ministry of The United Methodist Church, jointly
with the college, recognizes the professor who exemplifies teaching excellence,
civility, concern for students and colleagues, commitment to value-centered education,
and service to students, the institution, the community or church.
Maria Scott (English) joined
the faculty in 1992. She earned her B.A. from the University of California at Los
Angeles, her A.A. from The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and her M.A. and Ph.D.
from the University of Chicago.
“Not only is Professor Scott an exemplary teacher, but she has contributed tremendously
toward providing a welcoming environment to all in our campus community,” said Lindgren.
“A long-time ombuds and chair of the non-discrimination committee, she has dedicated
countless hours in making our college a better place. A person with a deep and abiding
faith, she has contributed to our intellectual climate as well, participating in
dialogues on matters of faith and co-teaching a First-Year Experience course, ‘In
God’s Good time,’ where students explored the relationship between faith and science.”
Marilyn J. Gibbs Dedicated Service Award, presented by John Conkright, executive
assistant to the president
Recipient: Charlotte Parrish
This award was created in 2009 by a generous gift from former Dean of Admissions
and Financial Aid Steven Nape and his wife Diane. The award is given annually to
a member of the Randolph-Macon College staff for outstanding service to and support
of the mission of the college. The award is named in honor of Marilyn J. Gibbs,
whose 18 years of dedicated service to the college as assistant professor of sociology
and then registrar exemplified the highest ideals embodied in the college’s mission.
Charlotte Parrish (advancement)
joined the staff in 1995.
Regarding Parrish’s hard work in coordinating R-MC events, Lindgren said, “She assembles
an energetic team that enjoys working with her toward common goals. She is unflappable.
Event dynamics often present the unpredictable, but Charlotte faces the unforeseen
with confidence and good cheer. She also is the empress of style, incorporating
into our events a consistently high level of refinement, dignity and professionalism.
In short, she adds sparkle to any occasion.”