Senior Honor Society Inducts Class of 2022

Colgate’s Senior Honor Society (SHS) welcomed new members from the Class of 2022 with their annual induction ceremony on March 22, during which current members celebrated the new inductees’ achievements through speeches and a ceremony. Both the incoming and current members of SHS expressed excitement about what the new class will bring to both the organization and Colgate’s campus. 

Although induction is usually an in-person event, SHS co-President and senior Harleen Kaur said the society could not meet in the Colgate Memorial Chapel due to COVID-19 regulations restricting gathering size to 50 people. The ceremony was instead held online, starting with a speech from SHS Vice President and senior Jake Gomez and Provost and Dean of the Faculty Tracey Hucks, a SHS alumna.

Kaur emphasized that tradition is a large part of the SHS induction process. 

“We maintained the tradition of each member of the class of 2021 giving a small speech for each new member of the class of 2022,” Kaur said. “We additionally had Rodney Agnant, a faculty member at Chapel House, speak at the end of the program, and his speech was wonderful, so we were happy to have him.” 

Kaur expressed excitement about the initiation of new members and the future of the society. 

“There were a ton of applications we read through over the past few months, and I truly believe that we chose some of the most dedicated and passionate individuals in the class of 2022,” Kaur said. “These 26 individuals are so representative of the values and tenets of the Senior Honor Society, so I am excited to see how they continue to uphold the honor and service within the Colgate community.” 

SHS co-President and senior Jailekha Zutshi echoed these sentiments when asked about her hopes for the Honor Society’s Class of 2022. 

“I think the incoming class brings with it a spirit of resilience, determination and creativity in terms of their approach to addressing systemic issues on our campus and beyond. Our class was struck by the authenticity, vulnerability and self-awareness in 2022’s applications,” Zutshi said. “I would hope they are able to leverage their drive to create systemic, sustainable change that benefits marginalized communities.”  

New inductee and junior Valerie Deleon discussed her future involvement in SHS and her new role in helping the Colgate and greater Hamilton community. Deleon described being chosen for the Senior Honor Society as rewarding. 

“Ever since my first year on campus, I have known a few people who have been a part of the SHS every year, and they were people who I always looked up to. They are my role models and they have done amazing things for this campus,” Deleon said. “And now I feel honored to be able to walk in their footsteps and make positive change.” 

Deleon also emphasized how SHS helps her feel heard and seen on campus. 

“Being on a campus where my identity is not widely represented is difficult and isolating at times,” Deleon said. “To be chosen made me feel like I do have a voice. SHS is a truly diverse group of students and I am excited to get to collaborate with these amazing peers of mine.” 

Junior Yoonjong (YJ) Lee shared Deleon’s enthusiasm about the future of their class in SHS. 

“Senior Honor Society brings together leaders of all types, departments and spectrums of campus into one group that is to represent, serve and lead the Colgate student body,” Lee said. “Specifically for me, I hope to become a role model for younger Asian male students at Colgate. I just hope I can be living, breathing proof that you can make an impact here and be proud of who you are.” 

Similar to Deleon, Lee described feeling honored to be chosen to be part of the Senior Honor Society. 

“It was touching to see how many of my professors, friends and family members showed up to the initiation. My big, Billy Liptrot, had some very kind words about me and it was overall such a great opportunity to learn more about my peers,” Lee said. “I couldn’t stop smiling.”