’05 award winners bronzed by library

By Christine Kim

The University’s Main Library will place the Bronze Tablet for the class of 2005 in the first-floor corridors sometime this month. The tablet will contain the 220 names of the honorees from the various undergraduate colleges.

“I was really proud when I found out about the Bronze Tablets since it would be up there for a long time,” said Katherine Byrne, recipient and alumna of the University. “I actually was shocked because I worked at the library, and I always walked back and forth among the bronze tablets and I never knew I would make it there.”

The honorees are University Honors students who graduated in the top three percent of their college’s graduating class. The selected group of undergraduate students must have a total grade-point average of at least a 3.5 out of a 4.0 scale, although averages vary within different colleges.

“I think receiving the honor shows signs of my character,” said Kristi Anthony, another student whose name was inscribed on the tablet and University alumna. “It shows that I’m determined and that I work hard. I worked hard while I was there and it tied my accomplishments. It wasn’t something that I intended to have happened, but it’s something good that people would like to have.”

The honorees receive special recognition and regalia at the graduation ceremonies. The selected honorees are informed with a congratulation letter from the Chancellor, and the provost sends an invitation to the parents of the honorees to join them in commencement.

Get The Daily Illini in your inbox!

  • Catch the latest on University of Illinois news, sports, and more. Delivered every weekday.
  • Stay up to date on all things Illini sports. Delivered every Monday.
Thank you for subscribing!

The selected students receive a certificate and attend an honors banquet hosted by their college.

“It’s a lot of effort on the part of the colleges, but it reinforces the importance of education,” said Becky Wauthier, associate registrar of Admissions and Records. “It’s one way we applaud the efforts and acknowledge the accomplishments of students. It’s a lot of commitment and they are sacrificing other interests for their goals.”

Besides the additional recognition, students whose names appear on the bronze tablet receive benefits outside of college.

“I think it benefited me with regards to scholarship money at the University of Southern California (for graduate school),” said Courtney Huffman, an honoree of the Bronze Tablet and University alumna. “When I apply for jobs … it will help in my resume and help to show that I’m a hard worker.”

The Bronze Tablet has been a tradition at the University since 1925, when the University awarded the honor to 14 students by inscribing their names on a bronze tablet. The start of this tradition can be credited to the University’s Board of Trustees. Since then, the number of recognized students has increased along with the increase in student enrollment.

“We get a number of calls and e-mails from students who graduated a long time ago who want to show their children or other members of the family,” said Jo Kibbee, reference library head. “I think it means a lot to people – that’s why the reference Web site put up a Web site (link) so people can look it up. I think it’s a wonderful tradition to have those names displayed … and it’s certainly nice to celebrate academic achievements.”