June 07, 2010
Basil Panton ‘11, Vice President H-SC International Club
For each of the last three years, the International Club of H-SC closed an eventful and successful academic year by recognizing the sojourn of several of its members. The annual celebration began in the 2007-2008 academic year under the leadership of former International Club President Achhunna Mali, who is from Nepal.
The event has evolved into what is now known as the "International Club Senior Banquet." The Senior Banquet pays tribute to the club's hardworking and supportive outgoing members. The banquet is an occasion when each member has the opportunity publicly to express his gratitude to fellow club members and to other members of the campus community who have been helpful to him. These remarks are often quite emotional and always reflect upon moments of happiness and success. The members also acknowledge faculty or staff members who have been especially generous to International students.
This time around, the banquet was held in the Board Room of Settle Hall. On the evening of April 26th, the current International Club members and executive officers welcomed their guests. Everyone mingled informally and wished all the outgoing members well.
After about thirty minutes of informal conversations, the attendees enjoyed a light meal and drinks. Then the President of the International Club, Mohit Shrestha (rigth), from Nepal, asked everyone to be seated and graduating members were introduced, beginning with Charles Wesley. The evening continued emotionally as each graduate, exchange student, international scholar, or staff member recounted his or her experience at Hampden-Sydney College.
One of the highlights of the evening came from Benjamin Brown (right), who had been vice president of the International Club for three consecutive years. Although he is not an international student-in fact, he is from Randolph, a community near Farmville-Ben has always shown enthusiasm for international cultures and traditions. Ben joined the club in his freshman year, and since then he has always been a stalwart supporter, organizing events, planning trips, and executing his duties. Ben shared with the gathering how being around the international students was meaningful to him and opened his eyes to the world. Ben used his encounters with the international students at H-SC to prepare himself for opportunities to travel and study in Ecuador and China.
All seniors concurred with Ben's sentiments. Each member emphasized the importance of the International Club, international students, and the impact the Club has had on campus. Particularly, each member underscored the supportive environment that the club members provided him. The outgoing club advisor, Dr. Michael Collins (right), Assistant Professor of Biology, praised the Club's active involvement on campus and urged the Club to maintain and even strengthen its current activeness.
At the end of a memorable evening, the International Club gave its final sendoff to the seniors-at least until we see each other once more-by taking pictures of the group. The seniors in attendance were active members Anthony Johnson (U.S.), former Public Relations Officer; Ben Brown (U.S.), former Vice-President; Charles Wesley (U.S.); Miguel Mogollon (Peru), former Secretary; and Olander Fleming (U.S.). Seniors absent were Alex Burner (U.S.); Karlis Trops (Latvia); Tan Le (Vietnam), former President; and Will Houtz (U.S.). (left to right) In 2009-10 the exchange student from Ireland was Lorcan Duffy, the Costa Rican Amity Scholar was Jeffrie Sanchez, and the Fulbright Scholar from China was Anthony Zhang.
The club conveyed special appreciation to Ms. Virginia Johnston, Administrative Secretary in the Business Office.
Even after the event formally concluded, everyone continued to chat and exchange good wishes and goodbyes. The International Club is grateful to all those who attended and helped recognize the seniors' accomplishments and wishes all its members who graduated in the Class of 2010 a prosperous and meaningful life.