Spring banquets highlight student achievement

Mass media students and alumni enjoy the 2015 mass media banquet put on by the Public Relations II class.

Katie Wade

During the spring semester, departments at Washburn University host banquets to award scholarships, induct students into organizations and form comradery.

Every week during the spring, approximately three banquets per week are scheduled on Washburn’s campus. Attendance at these banquets range anywhere from 20 to 300 people.

“Almost everybody has [banquets],” said Janet Schneider, senior administrative assistant for scheduling, “ from departments, to student groups to fraternities.”

Schneider said it is important to call an secure your venue and know an approximate attendance. Knowing your budget is also important. It is a good idea for students to RSVP to their respective department banquet so catering needs can be met.

Several departments in the College of Arts and Sciences have banquets to celebrate students’ efforts from the year, including the English, mass media and modern languages departments.

“The banquet honors students who have done exemplary work,” said Monique Robins, secretary for the modern languages department.

On average, about 100 faculty, students, and their family and friends attend the invitation-only banquet to celebrate students’ hard work. This year’s banquet for modern languages will be at 7 p.m. on April 14. and is free to invitees.

The banquet and scholarship award ceremony is recognitional of students’ dedication to the program, Robins said.

“This is one of the few times during the year that we are all together as a social function,” Robins said.

Washburn’s English department will also be hosting an event for students Monday, April 4. The reception will recognize all English majors who have been awarded scholarships. Students are rewarded for their high grade point average with scholarships from the department, which are funded by donations.

Karen Simpson, English department senior administrative assistant, says that the reception is an important opportunity for scholarship receivers to be recognized by the department. Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Laura Stephenson will also be attending the reception.

“It’s very important for students to get this experience, RSVP and have the responsibility of attending this event,” said Simpson.

Students invited to the reception may also bring up to three guests. The English department is expecting over 74 guests to attend this year’s reception.

During the reception, selected students will be able to partake in another scholarship opportunity by performing readings.

“It’s sort of a contest,” said Simpson. “The reception will begin with students performing Bunge readings.”

Students participating in the Bunge readings will perform a chosen Shakespeare or Chaucer piece of literature. Students may practice their readings beforehand with faculty members and perform the rehearsed readings during the reception.

After the readings, students will be formally awarded their scholarships and will each be given a book written by an English department faculty member.

In addition to the modern language department and the English department, the School of Business will also host a variety of banquets.

“We have three banquets for the end of the year in the business department and they are all invitation only.” said Lisa Hecker,communications director of the School of Business.

The first banquet for the school of business is a scholarship lunch twelve thirty April 22 for Beta Gamma Sigma, a business honor society, will host its banquet at six April 27. The last banquet the business department will host will be at noon May 6 for the Beta Alpha Psi Honor Society.

Similar to banquets, some organizations hold ceremonies and inductions. The Beta Beta Beta National Biology Honors Society hosts their private event on April 14. Students have to meet certain criteria to be inducted.

Additionally, the School of Nursing hosts an induction ceremony, Light the Lamp, twice a year that welcomes students to the nursing program and highlights achievements of current nursing students.

“We acknowledge the start of a new journey for students who are all really excited to be in nursing school.”

Light the Lamp is a movement happening across the country that is funded by multiple philanthropies. Because the the Washburn School of Nursing program is small, all nursing students are able to attend the ceremony.

“The ceremony helps students to feel welcome,” said Marian Jamison, associate dean of the School of Nursing. “We have a great interaction with students. Our class sizes are smaller, so we enjoy a closer relationship to our students that a lot of other departments aren’t able to,” said Jamison.

These spring banquets provide an opportunity to connect with other students and faculty outside of the classroom in a more social setting. They recognize achievements within the department and offer an opportunity for pride in the dedicated work that students do.