Michelle Boucher ’17 reacts after receiving the Condon Medal.

As President David A. Greene read the description of the 2017 Condon Medal winner, a nervous senior clutched her friend’s hand and trembled in disbelief as she began to recognize herself. By the time President Greene announced that Michelle Boucher ’17 had won the award, her classmates knew it too and were on their feet. Amidst the applause, hugs, and handshakes, Boucher turned to see her parents, emitting a shriek of surprise as her family enveloped her.

“A committed advocate, organizer, and leader whose contributions have been thoughtful, collaborative, and inspiring,” is how Greene described Boucher, a psychology major from Fryeburg, Maine. “She’s driven not by attention or praise but by a sincere desire to make Colby a safe and accepting place.” Boucher is a first-generation college student with minors in both human development and sociology. The Condon Medal, the only student award given at commencement, recognizes the finest qualities of citizenship.

A PDF, 2017 Student Award Recipients, lists all award winners.

Students from across the College were recognized for their academic, service, and leadership achievements at the ninth annual Student Awards Ceremony May 2 in Lorimer Chapel. More than 30 academic departments and programs acknowledged student scholarship and activism with awards and prizes. Campus departments, such as the Dean of the College, the Career Center, and the Goldfarb Center, also presented awards to students for their accomplishments and service.

Dean of Faculty Lori G. Kletzer acknowledges Brandon Blackburn ’17 for receiving two Fulbright grants.

The other student to receive a standing ovation from students, faculty, and staff packing the chapel was Brandon Blackburn ’17, winner of two prestigious Fulbright grants. The English and German double major from Brooklyn, N.Y., chose the grant that will take him to Germany for the 2017-18 academic year.

The commencement class speaker was also announced. The Class of 2017 elected Muhebullah Esmat ’17, an art history major from Kabul, Afghanistan, to represent them and to share the stage with Vice President Joe Biden at Colby’s 196th Commencement May 21.

The 25th annual Charles Bassett Senior Class Teaching Award, presented by the Student Government Association, went to Nathan Chan, assistant professor of economics. Chan will deliver the traditional Last Lecture to seniors Monday, May 15 at 4 p.m. Chan also received the PCB Commitment to Multiculturalism Award.