Mahara, Collins, and Fern Creek Awarded Algernon Sydney Sullivan Medallions

May 14, 2012

Commencement 2012
Dean of the Knowles Memorial Chapel Patrick Powers and Dean of Student Affairs Karen Hater present Jennifer Collins ’12 (center left) and Aditya Mahara ’12 (center right) with Algernon Sydney Sullivan Medallions (Photo by David Woods)

On Sunday, graduating seniors Aditya Mahara ’12 and Jennifer Collins ’12 were awarded Algernon Sydney Sullivan Medallions. Established in 1927, the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Medallion is the highest non-academic award the College bestows to an Arts & Sciences student who shows remarkable character and integrity and who demonstrates a commitment to service to others. Fern Creek Elementary School also received the award for its outstanding service to the community.

During the commencement, Dean of the Knowles Memorial Chapel Patrick Powers shared with the audience a few of Mahara's, Collins', and Fern Creek's remarkable accomplishments:

Adi clearly understands what it means to be a global citizen and responsible leader. This is never more evident than through the work he does with Making Lives Better, a non-profit organization he founded with fellow interested students that provides clean drinking water, medical assistance and educational supplies to communities in Nepal. This project is now implanted in the Rollins Overseas programs.

As a member and house manager for the X Club, he provides positive role modeling for not only his own fraternity but for all men on campus.

He finds time to give back to the local community by volunteering at Fern Creek Elementary School and Habitat for Humanity and the Coalition for the Homeless.

A fellow student testifies, “I am inspired by his openness to diversity, his understanding of the power of service, and his humble patience and calm confidence.”

Aditya Mahara, we are confident of your worthiness to be a recipient of the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Medallion.

Barely stopping to catch her breath, Jennifer, you have been active on campus from your first days here.

No Rollins climbing club? No problem, you founded one. When Eco Rollins sought a dynamic leader you stepped up and worked tirelessly on programs such as the first Bicycle Library Program to provide an alternative energy mode of transportation.

You were also instrumental in creating “Be a part from the Start” which set policies including biodegradables for all dining areas and recycling plastic bottles into graduation gowns.

Your ideals for a healthier environment eventuated in the biggest Earth Day celebration ever on campus this past spring. But you also extended your mission of service through Rollins Relief in building homes in New Orleans for those still devestated by the hurricane.

Whether you are working with the LEAD team helping to plan campus service and leadership programs, or flipping pancakes at the end of semester break, you do it with a smilie on your face and love in your heart.

Do not be destracted by Jenifer’s gentle and humble demeanor, she is passionate about her beliefs and fights for what is right.

And so today it is right and proper that we present the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Medallion for creative service to you, Jenifer Collins.

Over the years the Fern Creek Elementary School has been a partner with Rollins College as a resource of volunteer work, educational internships, mentoring and tutoring. The Fern Creek School is unique in its mission of educating, caring for and encouraging homeless children. And our students and faculty, in turn, have learned about the lives of children who grow up homeless and marginalized and yet are full of laughter, energy and enthusiasm.

Over 30 Rollins faculty are involved in any given year with service learning courses and research projects. The Rollins science faculty created and developed a hands on science lab at the school - one of the only hands on labs in Orange County.

Fern Creek is a one of a kind transformational school that allows our students to enter a world other than their own and to discover there a special kind of education – of the mind and of the heart.

In the Orange County school system, Fern Creek is graded as an “A” School – the highest evaluation possible.

Today we bestow upon the Fern Creek Elementary School our highest evaluation of service and caring, the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Medallion in thanksgiving for a mutually beneficial partnership.

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