Tufts presents Senior Awards to 12 graduating students

Senior Chance Brady gives his acceptance speech at the 2017 Senior Awards ceremony, sponsored by the Tufts Alumni Association, in ASEAN Auditorium on April 8. Max Lalanne / The Tufts Daily

The Tufts Alumni Association hosted the 2017 Senior Awards Ceremony last Saturday afternoon in the ASEAN Auditorium. This year, 12 members of the Class of 2017 were given awards for their achievements in academics, leadership and community service.

The awards ceremony was preceded with a dinner reception in the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy’s Hall of Flags. David Meyers (LA ’96), president of the Tufts Alumni Association, began the event by welcoming the guests and seniors who were gathered there.

Meyers went on to introduce the nominated seniors, providing a description of their achievements and participation on campus. The nominees in turn delivered their own acceptance speeches, each lasting no longer than five minutes.

The first senior to deliver his speech was Carlos Gonzalez-Barrios, an animation major from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (SMFA) at Tufts. Gonzalez-Barrios was acknowledged for his commitment to bettering his education, attending two years of the Tufts Pre-College Program before matriculating at the SMFA.

“Your financial and social challenges were numerous, coming from a small town in Mexico,” Meyers said as he presented the award to Gonzalez-Barrios. “But you have made remarkable contributions from the community of which you came from.”

Gonzalez-Barrios said that he had never expected to receive a senior award. He added that he feels that Tufts truly understands what the SMFA stands for after it acquired the school last summer.

“I’m very hopeful about the collaborations we are going to do together,” he said.

Another notable honoree at the ceremony was football tri-captain Chance Brady, a history major and Bridge to Liberal Arts Success at Tufts (BLAST) Scholar. Meyers recognized Brady for his four years on the football team, during which he has been twice awarded NESCAC Offensive Player of the Year and holds Tufts career records for touchdowns and rushing yards, among other honors. The room burst into applause as Meyers listed the accomplishments.

“Your winning attitude energized the team and renewed the spirits of our campus community,” Meyers said. “You transformed the Tufts football team from its winless freshman year to a NESCAC Championship competitor.”

Brady said he would like to thank his family for their support.

“My family has always been my rock of support, and molded and guided me into becoming the man I am today,” he said.

In addition, awards were given to Elizabeth Buechler, Olivia Familusi, Zachary Flicker, Amanda Gottschalk, Kevin Kelly, Saki Kitadai, Marianna Marques, Tim Nichols, Gauri Seth and Michael Wang.

After every one of the 12 seniors received awards and delivered speeches, University President Anthony Monaco delivered the closing remarks.

“This is really one of my favorite events of the year,” Monaco said. “I want to thank the Alumni Association for continuing this tradition of honoring seniors for 62 years … It’s truly inspiring to hear about all of their accomplishments this evening.”