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Hannah Groves ’13 Awarded President’s Citation

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Hannah Groves ’13 Awarded President’s Citation

Hannah Groves ’13 Awarded President’s Citation

During Greenville College's 121st Commencement on May 26, Acting President Randy Bergen and Provost S. Bradley Shaw awarded the prestigious President's Citation to Hannah Groves of Greenville, Illinois. Each year, the award is given to the Greenville College graduating senior who has demonstrated the highest academic achievement in the context of a Christian liberal arts program. To be eligible for this award, the student must have completed a bachelor's degree program and adhered consistently to the ideals of the institution.

Groves graduated with a degree in urban/cross cultural ministry and a minor in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL). Hannah also spent a transformative semester in Africa at the CCCU Uganda Studies Program. As a graduating McAllaster Scholar, she completed all the requirements of the honors program, including the successful defense of her senior thesis. In addition to academic excellence, Hannah played varsity volleyball all four years at GC, worked as a student assistant for COR 101 for three years, and helped to establish GC's Y.A.C.H.T. Club - students who serve the homeless in St. Louis on the weekends.

Groves' academic advisor Dr. Brian Hartley, professor of religion and dean of the School of the Liberal Arts and Sciences said, "Hannah is the quintessential student that all professors long for - hard-working, totally-dedicated, naturally-inquisitive, and open to new ideas. She brings together the "tough-minded, tender-hearted" model that we hold up for our constituents as what we desire for all of our charges." 

She articulated this "tough-minded, tender-hearted" approach while reflecting on her Greenville College experience. Groves wrote, "My Christian liberal arts education at Greenville has encouraged me to be a life-long learner who is first of all willing enough to enter into dialogue with any person, over any topic, second of all compassionate enough to listen well and value differing perspectives, third of all intelligent enough to appropriately contribute to the conversation and last of all humble enough to admit when I don't know all the answers."

Groves' thesis explored the contrast between American and Ugandan college students' ways of thinking and speaking about "the will of God." She questioned these differences during her study abroad experience in Uganda and wondered why American college students seem more anxious about God's will than Ugandan students.

Dr. Kent Dunnington, associate professor of philosophy and religion, spoke highly of her thesis; he said, "What I love about her thesis is that Hannah treated that puzzle as an invitation to deeper analysis, research and contemplation. What emerged from that process was a rich, mature theological approach to the 'will of God' that not only made sense of the initial puzzle but also provided a framework for helping today's anxious Christian."

Next fall, Groves will fulfill her sense of vocation by returning to Africa to serve as the graduate assistant in the Uganda Studies Program. Her selection for the President's Citation as Greenville College's outstanding graduate reflects her high academic achievement and engagement in a wide range of college experiences. 

 

This story was published on June 03, 2013




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