Dr. Jack Roper, Emory & Henry professor of history, spoke of life transitions before as he delivered the 2012 convocation address at the College Tuesday.
Roper, who is well-known among students for his use of poetry in his lectures, quoted from five poems and an excerpt from a memoir as he reflected on transitions in his own life.
The poems included “Love the Wild Swan,” by Robinson Jeffers; “The Secular Masque” by John Dryden; “For a Friend Who Walked Girders,” by Ron Bayes; “Mountain Fire” by Dan Leidig; and “How to Read a Quilt” by Felicia Mitchell. The memoir, “Lanterns on the Levee,” was written by William Alexander Percy.
Roper, who has taught at Emory & Henry for 25 years, received his Ph.D. in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He received the E&H Excellence in Teaching Award three times and was named the 2006 Virginia Professor of the Year by The Carnegie Foundation.
Two other professors were recognized during convocation services, which were held on the south lawn of the E&H Memorial Chapel. Dr. Herb Thompson, a long-serving member of the E&H Education Department and recipient of numerous teaching awards, was awarded the Travel Grant. Dr. Melissa Taverner, a biology professor and former chair of the Science Division, received the Exemplary Teaching Award given by the United Methodist Church.
Also honored was Greg McMillan, senior development officer, who received The Earnest E. and Elizabeth C. Maiden Merit Award, which recognizes service to the church and community as well as distinctive contributions to the College.