Valerie Neal, curator of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, said at the 50th Annual Honors Convocation Thursday that students often find it difficult to define who they are in the outside world after graduation.
Neal, who is also a TCU alumna, reassured students that there was nothing to stress about. Using the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Neal said, "The American scholar defines their own generation."
Neal’s speech, “The American Scholar in Our Time,” was inspired by her interest in reading Emerson in college. Neal encouraged students to follow their own style after graduation.
“It is obvious that TCU is focused on producing scholars not only in America, but around the world who are engaged, original, active, ethical and prepared to make a difference globally,” Neal said.
Jigna Patel, a senior biology major, enjoyed the lessons Neal shared during her speech.
“I thought that the guest speaker was very eloquently spoken and had very good insight for students,” Patel said.
Patel then presented the 2013 Honors Faculty Recognition Award to Michael Chumley, an assistant professor of biology. Patel said the award was given to Chumley not only for his academic excellence, but also for his personal morality inside and outside the classroom.