St. Olaf College | News

St. Olaf celebrates academic excellence with Honors Day

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

St. Olaf College held its annual Honors Day on Friday, May 5, welcoming students, families, faculty, staff, and the St. Olaf Board of Regents to the convocation held in Boe Memorial Chapel.

Honors Day is a celebration of student academic accomplishments, a time to express gratitude for faculty members, and an opportunity to say “thank you” to alumni and friends of the college who provide scholarships.

After a welcome from President David R. Anderson ’74, Provost and Dean of the College Marci Sortor opened the convocation by congratulating students named to dean’s list and academic honor societies, as well as those who had received special honors including the Fulbright Grant, Rotary Global Grant, Rossing Physics Scholarship, and Gilman Scholarship.

Karen Cherewatuk, the Marie M. Meyer Distinguished Professor of English, then delivered an Honors Day address titled The Going and Coming.

Listen to her address, and watch the entire Honors Day Convocation, below.

About the Speaker
Karen Cherewatuk earned her B.A. in English and Classics from the State University of New York at Albany and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Cornell University. Since 1986 she has served in the English Department at St. Olaf College and has particularly enjoyed teaching courses in areas of her specialization, medieval literature. Cherewatuk has served as the director of the Enduring Questions program (formerly the Great Conversation) and taught the Global Semester and Literature of the Eastern Caribbean study-abroad programs. In 2002 she won the award from the International Arthurian Society for best article in the field. In 2019 the same society named her as a Noted Female Scholar. In spring 2023, Cherewatuk served as the P.J.C. Field Senior Research Fellow at the Arthurian Centre University of Wales, Bangor.

 Cherewatuk believes that studying the past makes us profoundly aware of the present. Working in medieval literature has allowed her to merge her love of poetry and languages with her faith. Teaching these supposedly distant texts allows Cherewatuk and her students to grapple with issues of gender, spirituality, race, colonialism, ethics, and human emotion.

 The author of several books on medieval women and Arthurian literature, Cherewatuk is working on a new book titled Grief and Mourning in Malory’s ‘Morte Darthur.’ This project is motivated by the loss of her daughter Helen and her first husband, St. Olaf Professor of English Richard DuRocher. Her project examines loss in light of a recently developed field called “the history of emotions.”