Millikin Still Honors Outstanding Students

Honors Convocation has shifted in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s what you need to know about the readjustment.

April 24, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced Millikin to close campus, suspending countless hopes and plans. One of these plans was Honors Convocation.

A traditional ceremony, first set to happen on April 23, would not be safe but Millikin will still honor outstanding students.  The new one, however, looks a lot different.

According to Becky Stubblefield, the Honors Convocation Coordinator and the Administrative Assistant to the Dean of the Tabor School of Business, students should find out today if they have received an award via email.

“When they finally made the decision it was going to be canceled, I cried,” Stubblefield said. “I was so bummed because we wouldn’t get to celebrate the students, so I’m so happy that we found ways to do that. Even if we can’t all be together, we can still be celebrating with you all in spirit and just, once again, emphasizing how many amazing students we have at Millikin.”

Students, faculty, and staff should receive an email including a PDF program and a video. The program will announce most of the awards and the video, including Dean Raphaella Prange, Provost Jeffery Aper, and President Patrick White, will announce the larger awards, such as the Scovill Awards.

“Since we weren’t having a ceremony, we wanted to give a little more weight to those [the larger] awards, so we had the president and the dean and the provost do little video blurbs announcing those winners to be a little more of a special moment for those awards,” Stubblefield said. “Everything else will be in PDF form.”

Filming of the administrators took place last week. There are still a few moving pieces, which has caused a delay in announcements.

“Really, the only thing that [COVID-19] has affected has been the actual lack of ceremony and what do we do from there,” Stubblefield said. “The reason everything is so delayed is because the upper administration had so many pressing issues to deal with that this kind of kept falling lower and lower on the list and so it wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago that we all got together to just say, ‘Okay, we need to do something. What are we going to do?’”

While the announcement has been delayed, the COVID-19 outbreak has not affected the selection process of the awards.

“Almost all of the awards had been selected before COVID-19 hit,” Stubblefield said. “This whole process starts in January every year.”

The only award selection process that overlapped into the social-distancing period has been the Scovill awards, according to Stubblefield. The meetings for the Council on Students and Academic Standards, therefore, needed to meet virtually to have their discussions.

Awards will be announced today and students will receive certificates, checks, and programs in the mail. However, there are a few steps before that happens.

Programs, award certificates, and checks, as of now, will all be sent to students in one package. Stubblefield is waiting for the final proofs for the programs—which will likely come in within the next few days—and then all of the programs need to be printed.

Stubblefield estimates that checks should enter the mail within the next two weeks, but this is likely if everything goes smoothly. No promises can be made.

“We’re super appreciative for the help from the Marketing Department,” Stubblefield said. “They have been wonderful to work with. The Alumni and Development office has been great to work with. They are the ones who coordinate with the donors to get these awards created.”

This convocation is the first time Millikin has ever announced these awards virtually. Roughly 140 students will receive about 100 different awards.

Stay tuned for more related stories about Honors Convocation and other topics.


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