Centenary opens 193rd academic year with convocation, awards ceremony
SHREVEPORT, LA — Students, faculty, staff, trustees, and alumni filled Centenary College’s Brown Chapel on Tuesday, August 28 for the annual President’s Convocation, the traditional opening of the academic year. Centenary president Dr. Christopher L. Holoman welcomed the College’s largest incoming class since 2011 with an address centered on vocation and calling. He urged new and returning students to take advantage of their college years as a time uniquely suited to answering three important questions: What are you good at? What makes you happy? Where will you be?
“You will not leave Centenary as a finished product,” Holoman explained. “Over the course of your life your answers to those questions will change. You may find that your vocation and your occupation, your work life, are different. But in the same way that we intend to give you the tools to have a successful work life, we also intend to give you the tools to have a life of meaning and purpose, because that is where true fulfillment lies.”
On August 24, Holoman presided over the College’s annual Opening Session for faculty and staff, during which he welcomed new employees, recognized personal and professional accomplishments, and laid out a vision for the 2017-2018 academic year at the College. Holoman also presented the 2017 David Womack Leadership Award to Saige Solomon, director of alumni and family relations.
The Womack Award was established in memory of former Centenary Dean of Students David Womack, who passed away suddenly in August 2009. Nominations for the Womack Award are considered each August by the Cabinet of the College, and a recipient is chosen if a worthy candidate is identified. Honoring the example and the memory of the late David Womack, Womack Award winners are chosen on the basis of their leadership skills, their ability to work across divisional and departmental lines, their commitment to and skill at building bridges, and their capacity to be inclusive of all members of the campus community.
“Always leading by example, Saige is always one of the first to volunteer to assist with new student move-in, admission open houses, orientation, Centenary in Paris send-offs, or any event that benefits from showing our students and their families that we are an ‘all in’ campus,” said Holoman during the award presentation. “Her leadership, professionalism, and attention to detail in organizing events and activities that build relationships between Centenary’s many constituencies are the key to Saige’s success in engaging and enlisting the support of so many in the life of the College.”
Solomon is a 2005 graduate of Centenary and has worked at her alma mater since 2007. In addition to her ongoing work engaging the College’s local and national alumni community, she was the chair of the committee that planned a week-long celebration of Holoman’s formal inauguration as Centenary’s 31st president in March 2017.
“I was very humbled to receive this year’s David Womack Leadership Award,” says Solomon. “It has been a joy to serve my alma mater over the last ten years and I am grateful for all of the relationships I have made along the way with our alumni, families, students and of course, my fantastic colleagues. To be added to a list of such well respected co-workers that have received this award in previous years is an incredible honor.”
Past recipients of the Womack Award include Dr. David Hoaas, Dr. Chris Lavan, Eddie Walker, Connie Whittington, Mark Miller, Monica Powell, and Janet Ingram.