Never has there been in the history of DillardUniversity four graduating seniors with perfect 4.0 grade point averages. Ashley Wilson, Virsa Hurt, Scott Morella, and Nekeithia Wade all have maintained this cumulative G.P.A. since their freshmen year at DU. Although there were four people who graduated with this perfect score, only two were acknowledged at the Commencement ceremony on Saturday, July 1, 2006. Even though graduation has passed, many people are still left wondering if the selection of this year’s salutatorian was chosen solely on Quality Points.
“I’m a very fair person,” says Mrs. Connie Seymour head of Dillard University Registrar. The cumulative G.P.A. is the first factor considered when there is a person in the running for the honor of Salutatorian. After a candidate’s G.P.A is accessed then their quality points [which are based on the credit hours of each class that person took over the course of their college career] comes into the equation.
This Quality Point System worked in Salutatorian Scott Morella’s favor. Morella an African politics major, received the most points because he took on 150 credit hours during his time at DillardUniversity. Morella said that he would much rather see Virsa up there receiving the honor as opposed to himself.
However, the Quality Point System was not “outlined in the beginning” according to alumni Virsa Hurt, Japanese studies major. She said she wishes that all four candidates would have at least been included in the process of choosing a Salutatorian candidate. She would have rather known exactly why she was penalized for not receiving the recognition at the commencement ceremony.
Class of 2006 president, Ashley Wilson a Mass Communication Major said that it would have been better if all four members were recognized as the hardest working in the class of 2006. She also says that it would have been really good press for the school to recognize all four, to show the accomplishments made in spite of Hurricane Katrina. Instead the two other hard working candidates are not given a brief moment to shine for all of the time and effort they too put into their college education.
One of the reasons Wilson and Hurt were both penalized for the honor, was because they completed all of their requirements for graduation in the first session and began working at their internships during the second session of this spring 2006 school year, according to Hurt. Morella, on the other hand, remained enrolled in classes during the second session of this school year.
Wilson and Hurt completed their graduation requirements in a shorter amount of time. They both entered DillardUniversity in 2002 and attended college consecutively until 2006. Morella entered college in 2001 who stopped for a year and then came back to complete his education.
Hurt suggest that if this should ever happen again no one person should be marginalized for their hard work. Seymour also says that, “We need to go ahead and put the tie breaker in the catalog,” for future to be well informed of the exact criteria for such an academic honor. But Salutatorian or not, the recognition is only for one day, but the hard work that all four candidates have put into their education and their progress will determine how successful they will be, according to Seymour.