Wow!!! What a weekend!
We knew Karyn was a top student but we didn't really know everybody else knew it, too. She walked off with the top award at the Rhodes College graduation a few weeks ago.
We should have caught the clue when the lady sitting next to us at the Baccalaureate asked whom we were there for and when Gayle told her, she knew all about her: two degrees BA Religious Studies and BS Physics; the departmental award in Physics; magna cum laude; one of the two Phi Beta Kappas inducted as a Junior. We did not find out who she was till that night at the dance when she and her husband, Dr. Trout (the college President), greeted us as we entered. Even for the wife of the President., she knew too much.
The graduation Saturday was forced indoors because of the monsoon. We were back in the balcony at Mississippi Blvd Christian Church (formerly Bellevue Baptist). It was a delightful ceremony. Karyn walked twice to pick up her two diplomas - magna cum laude (missed summa by .005 of a point - there were two summas in the class - Spanish majors). There were three student awards at the end - recipients to be named at the ceremony. One of Karyn's close friends in Physics won the Men's Student Service Award - profoundly earned.
The highest award is named by Phi Beta Kappa in honor of the Peyton Rhodes, the college's namesake. It awards scholarship, service, diversity of interest and effort, etc. Reading about it in the program, we could not help thinking that Karyn could qualify for that and we started getting a little jumpy. Then Dr. Wirls (the pres. of Phi Beta Kappa) introduced the award and said, "Would Karyn Elaine Spence come forward, please?" I almost jumped off the balcony. What else can I say? Number one is NUMBER 1!!!
Then they were through and everybody left.