Tuesday in the Meliora, the UR’s chapter of the Golden Key Honour Society inducted several new members, among them was Mayor of Rochester William Johnson and Chair of the History Department and professor Ted Brown.
Golden Key, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, inducts members based on academic achievement and extracurricular engagements. Each member must be in the top 15 percent of their class and involved in their community. Johnson, also the evening’s keynote speaker, Brown and Professor of Psychology Harry Reese were inducted as honorary members.
At the ceremony, one junior, Fay Yao and one senior, David Reiner were not only inducted as members of Golden Key, but also received a scholarship from the Ford Motor Company as well as a medallion to recognize outstanding academic and personal achievement.
Mayor Johnson, the 64th mayor of Rochester who is currently serving his third term, said in his speech that he is “always delighted and honored to be part of any program where excellence is celebrated.”His address discussed his own personal education as well as the progress and history of education especially for minorities.
He stressed that although those who are public figures for their wealth, power or success are often celebrated by society, ordinary people who pass on the values of life to others are those who truly make a difference.
He mentioned Rosa Parks, a tailor’s assistant and Fanny Lou Hayward, who worked on a plantation – those women, Johnson said, were ordinary women who made a difference through the development of character.
Golden Key has inducted over one million undergraduates since its inception and provides “a lifetime of opportunities” for its members, according to a regional director and member Kim Wells. Most of those inducted Tuesday were enthusiastic to have been honored by Golden Key.
“I feel Golden Key is a prestigious honor society that not only recognizes academic achievement, but provides an opportunity to get involved in the community through voluntary service. I am proud of being inducted and feel that all my hard work has paid off,” junior and inductee Luke Dutton said.
“Golden key is definitely a great opportunity to earn some recognition for the hard work we all do as college students. Being part of an international academic honor society is a privilege and I am honored to have been selected as a part of it,” junior Dave Iseminger said.
“There are multiple scholarship opportunities that members can apply to win and I hope many of the new members take advantage of this chance to help pay for school, since there are so few new scholarship opportunities at this point in your educational careers.”
“The induction ceremony was my first introduction to the Golden Key Honour Society as an organization at our school. Last year’s officers seemed very enthusiastic about their year of membership and the events that were held, and it will be interesting to see what types of activities will be planned for the next year,” junior Fay Yao said.
“I think that it was a privilege to be inducted into the group. I hope that I will be able to take advantage of the scholarships and other benefits available with membership,” she added.
One inductee offered somewhat different sentiments about the induction. “Mayor Johnson made a very important point in his speech that everyone has something different to contribute to their community and that just because one has high grades doesn’t make them any better than anyone else,” sophomore Ciara Relyea said.
“In fact, I can think of many people who I feel are much more worthy of being honored at a fancy ceremony than many who were there on Tuesday,” she added.
“What about the people who dedicate so much of their time and energy to student groups, community service and social action that they just don’t have the extra few hours to spend on homework that would get them an ‘A’? I think that we should have a ceremony for those people, who are rarely recognized or appreciated,” Relyea said.
For more information on Golden Key, contact UR’s chapter president Jonathan Tan at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://goldenkey.gsu.edu.
Yunis can be reached at email@example.com