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Congratulations to Thea J. Autry (PhD in English, 2020) for receiving this year's Founder's Medalist for the Graduate School

Thea Autry



Congratulations to the Class of 2020

Solomon Hayes

"Let us go then, you and I/
When the evening is spread out against the sky/
Like a patient etherized upon a table."
T.S. Eliot, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"
"If you surrendered to the air, you could ride it." 
Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon


Angela Karas

Favorite essay title: Techno-Existentialism. 

Isabella Bruzzese

Favorite essay title: “Fraught Fatherhood: An Interpretation of Tennyson and Vuong” 

Favorite literary work: The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende


“Do you take it I would astonish?
Does the daylight astonish? does the early redstart twittering through the woods?
Do I astonish more than they?
This hour I tell things in confidence,
I might not tell everybody, but I will tell you.”
Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass ("Song of Myself, 19")


Lindsay Quackenbush

“She had known happiness, exquisite happiness, intense happiness, and it silvered the rough waves a little more brightly, as daylight faded, and the blue went out of the sea and it rolled in waves of pure lemon which curved and swelled and broke upon the beach and the ecstasy burst in her eyes and waves of pure delight raced over the floor of her mind and she felt, It is enough! It is enough!” 
Virginia Woolf, To The Lighthouse


James Whitty

Favorite essay title: “Student Accountability - Legal Implications of a Fake Identification Charge”

Favorite literary work: All Quiet on the Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque


"Yes, she is a peacock in everything but beauty."
The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde


Darby Power

Favorite literary work: The Passion by Jeannette Winterson.


Samantha Hu

“You know what’s at the heart of the misery of a breakdown? Me-itis. Microcosmosis. Drowning in the tiny tub of yourself.”
Philip Roth, Operation Shylock: A Confession


Julianna Hernandez

Favorite essay title: Wonder, a novella

Favorite author: Ernest Hemingway

“You can’t crush ideas by suppressing them. You can only crush them by ignoring them. By refusing to think, refusing to change.”
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed  


Raymond Boucher

“How can we live without our lives? How will we know it's us without our past?”
John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath


Emily O’Brian

Favorite author: Toni Morrison.


Erin Danaher

"You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone's soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows that they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift."
Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus.


Valerie Ricciardi

Favorite essay title: “The Devil’s Drug”

Favorite author: Jane Austen


“And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.”
T.S. Eliot, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"


Kelly McHale

“The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.”
Emily Dickinson


Cassidy Tynan

Favorite title: “Manipulation and Oppression as Portrayed in Dawn”

Favorite work: The Picture of Dorian Grey, specifically the prelude

“Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but - I hope - into a better shape. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations


Olivia Rastatter

Favorite essay title: "As the Doe Does, so the Does Don’t: Following Wyatt’s Translation of Petrarch’s Sonnet 190".

Favorite work: Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.


"Write with your eyes like painters,
with your ears like musicians, with your feet like dancers.
You are the truthsayer with quill and torch.
Write with your tongues on fire.
Don't let the pen banish you from yourself."
Gloria E. Anzaldúa, Borderlands/ La Frontera: The New Mestiza
Oishik Ray

Senza tema d’infamia ti rispondo, “I answer you without fear of infamy.”

Epigraph from T.S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock,” quoting Dante, Inferno 27.66

Fellow Graduating Seniors
Camille Archer
Lily Argyle
Allison Boyce
William Fesmire
Lauren Furman
Yuthika Gundamaraju
Katie Hauck
Ji Yoon Hong
Benjamin Kessler
Joseph Lovinger
James Lucas
Emily O’Brian
Janelle Ortiz
Alexis Perez
Matthew Pike
Darby Power
Victoria Press
Brooke Redman
Taylor Robinson
Emma Robitaille
Karina Schechter
Regan Schmid
Caroline Sindelar
Sa’mia Statum-Wilson
Maeve Sullivan







Immersion Vanderbilt

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