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Scholars' Day on Scots Day

Barry McNamara
04/13/2011
Poster for "Mrs. Hudson's Tea"
Monmouth College has come up with several names for its traditional all-campus celebration in April. Starting this year, one more name will be added to the list that has included Scots Day, Founders Day and, briefly, Ceilidh.

A “Scholars’ Day” celebration will be held on April 19 from 2 to 5 p.m. in the Huff Athletic Center in conjunction with Scots Day.

“A great majority of Monmouth College students engage in academic scholarship above and beyond standard academic expectations put before them in the classroom,” explained the event’s organizers, faculty members Michael Harrison and Brad Sturgeon. “It is too often the case that this scholarship stays confined to the boundaries of the classroom or academic building. It is time to free these activities and to come together as a campus to share the excitement that happens each day at Monmouth College.”

Scholarship is broadly defined as an inquiry or investigation conducted by a student that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline. This scholarship can be a result of student-faculty collaboration, an independent study, or a project that highlights exemplary works done as a part of coursework.

“All presentations will have a faculty or staff sponsor who is ultimately responsible for insuring the intellectual merit,” said Harrison and Sturgeon. “All students are welcome to present, and presentations can take the form of a poster, an exhibit, a reading, a theatrical or musical performance, or a summary of a larger performance.”

The organizers noted that posters will be displayed on new boards that were made at Warren Achievement Center/Achievement Industries (WAC/AI).

Other features of the Scholars’ Day celebration will include the announcement of the Hatch Scholarship Award, a performance by the Monmouth College Jazz Band at 2:45 p.m. outside the Pepper Natatorium and an honors music recital at 4 p.m. in the Dahl Chapel and Auditorium.

Although Scholars’ Day in itself is new, two other elements of the April 19 celebration have occurred at Monmouth in the past. The traditional Honors Convocation, which formally recognizes the scholastic achievements of Monmouth students during the past year, will be held at 11 a.m. in the Dahl Chapel and Auditorium.

In addition to the presentation of departmental awards and prizes at the Honors Convocation, the Blue Key and Mortar Board honor societies will recognize a freshman and senior man and woman of the year. Also recognized will be scholarship recipients and donors, as well as outstanding faculty members.

Also held in conjunction with Founders Day in the past has been “Mrs. Hudson’s Tea.” Free and open to the public, the one-hour event will be held at 1 p.m. on the main floor of the Mellinger Teaching and Learning Center.

Students enrolled in English lecturer Kevin Roberts’ course “The Return of Sherlock Holmes and Other Victorian Detectives,” have been studying the works of Arthur Conan Doyle and his famous detective, Sherlock Holmes. Mrs. Hudson was Holmes’ landlady.

“Mrs. Hudson’s Tea has been a long-standing tradition with the Baker Street Irregulars, a society dedicated to the study and preservation of Sherlock Holmes and his adventures,” explained Roberts, who said the “formal tea in the traditional British style” will include cucumber sandwiches and other light refreshments. “The hour will be spent discussing the importance of the canon of Doyle’s work and meeting new individuals interested in Holmes. Short presentations will be given and scholarly discussions are encouraged.”

The Honors Convocation, “Mrs. Hudson’s Tea” and the Scholars’ Day events are all free and open to the public.