Student achievement highlighted as commencement nears

by Centre College News

Centre College News
Honors Convocation 2024

Centre College’s annual celebration of student achievement was held in Newlin Hall at the Norton Center for the Arts, featuring addresses by senior keynote speakers William Leach and Temiloluwa Haastrup along with an array of honors recognizing more than 100 exceptional students. 

The Honors Convocation highlights student achievement, major campus prizes and inductees to academic honorary societies. Leach and Haastrup were selected by the graduating class of 2024 and were joined by Hailey Finch, student government association president, in providing remarks at the convocation.

View the Full 2024 Honors Convocation Program here

Leach, a biology major from Shelbyville, Illinois, said one word came to his mind when preparing his speech: Centre.

William Leach Honors Convocation 2024

“I look at everyone here tonight and I know that each of us represents what Centre means,” he said. “… To me, (Centre) will always be about the people who we chose to spend our time with.”

View William Leach's 2024 Honors Convocation speech here.

Leach also recognized former Centre golf coach David Jones, who passed away in 2022.

“He taught all of his players valuable lessons. He nurtured what we cared about, even if it didn’t have to do with golf, such as in my case,” Leach said. “… Much of what I do on an everyday basis is the direct result of the values and qualities that not only Coach Jones, but my parents and friends instilled in me.”

Leach plans to attend Texas A&M to pursue a PhD in Genetics and Genomics as a T-32 fellow, funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences.

Haastrup, a Lincoln Scholar from Grand Forks, North Dakota, majored in chemistry. She plans to attend the University of Louisville School of Medicine. She took the opportunity to recognize how long the last four years seemed — and then how quickly they went by.

View Temi Haastrup's 2024 Honors Convocation speech here.

Temi Haastrup Honors Convocation 2024

“It's inevitable that when you become a senior, you start to reflect on the time you’ve spent on campus,” she said. “You think about what you’ve done, who you are, and what it all means for the future.”

She finished her speech with a challenge to her classmates: Let time pass you by.

“In my mere 22 years of living and reflection on the process of time, I've come to the conclusion that impatience is not always passion, but rather naivete,” she said. “Let time pass you by. You’ll see that love ebbs and flows, people grow, deaths consume, life buds, and it all happens in the process of time. Let time pass over you, those you love, those you hate, and especially those you don’t understand.”

Centre’s Commencement Weekend begins Saturday, May 18 with Baccalaureate services. Commencement will be Sunday, May 19 at 10 a.m. For all Commencement news, visit Commencement Headquarters.