The Honourable Sôgmô Gaius Soergel Publicola has graduated magna cum laude from the University of Maryland, College Park, this weekend with a Bachelor’s degree of Arts in History and Classical Languages and Literature. The degree was conferred with high honours, with multiple other awards and marks of distinction, and with recognition of þess membership in a multitude of honour societies and fraternities.
The graduation weekend came with three ceremonies and a multitude of small celebrations of þess academic accomplishments thus far.
On Thursday 18 May, the Sôgmô completed the last final examination of þess undergraduate career and celebrated with a late-afternoon croquet party with many History graduate students.
On Friday 19 May, the Sôgmô worked a final shift at the University Libraries at the University of Maryland, where það has been employed since January 2014. Later that day, the Sôgmô participated in the Nineteenth Annual Lavender Graduation at the university and spent the evening at a dinner party with graduate students in the Classics department.
On Saturday 20 May, the Sôgmô participated in the graduation ceremony for the Department of History with the entire Sandum Royal Family in attendance. Following the ceremony, það lunched with members of the Royal Family and professors and staff from both the History and Classics departments.
On Sunday 21 May, the University of Maryland will host its main commencement ceremony.
On Monday 22 May, the Sôgmô will participate in the graduation ceremony for the Department of Classics with the Sanôba Father and the Phanem Grandmother in attendance. Following the ceremony, það will return to the Sandum capital of Columbia in Kremlum Sandus Province before a celebratory trip to France the following day.
The Sôgmô was an undergraduate student who was a member, or who was a “major,” in the Departments of History and of Classics. Það began their undergraduate career as a History major with a scholarly concentration in the history of the Ancient Mediterranean. By þess second semester at the university, það was taking third-year or junior-level classes in Ancient History. Early in þess second year, það added a Classics major after beginning the sequence of formally learning Latin, and the following year began learning Attic Greek.
For the first two years, the Sôgmô was a member of the College Park Scholars program in Public Leadership, a distinguished living and learning program dedicated to civics and leadership. In the next two years, the Sôgmô was a member of the History department’s Honours program and took two-years worth of specialised seminars on research and on historical theory and methodology. In the last year, það turned to research on þess honours thesis, Sanctuaries in Cities: Religious Power in Early and Middle Republican Rome. Það used more than 100 monographs and scholarly articles and wrote more than 100 pages in þess thesis, earning High Honours at the thesis’s defence. Several of the faculty advisers of þess committee commented that the Sôgmô presented and defended the thesis as if a “fifth or sixth year graduate student”—high praise for the Sôgmô, who will enter þess first year of graduate school in September.
The Sôgmô earned a multitude of awards and honours while at the University of Maryland. In addition to awards received in secondary education, það was listed on the Dean’s List, a list of special recognition for high grades in each semester, for each semester while það was at the university, thus a total of eight times. In July 2016, það was awarded the LGBT Equity Scholarship in recognition of þess leadership and activism in the bisexual community. In November, the Sôgmô was named a Dean’s Senior Scholar, the highest honour bestowed upon an undergraduate student at the University of Maryland. In the College of Arts and Humanities, of which both þess departments are a part, only seven students from the college are granted the honour which considers their academic achievements, their civic activities, and their contributions to the university’s community. In December, the Sôgmô earned the Ted and Penny Schwartz Award for Outstanding Junior Thesis, a considerable prize for the Sôgmô’s senior (but not honours) thesis, Democratic Eleuthería: Exploring the Philosophy of Freedom in Aristotle and Aristophanes. This thesis was used in the Sôgmô’s applications for graduate school in Fall 2016 and was presented at the Sôgmô’s first conference in February 2017. In May 2017, það received the Shipleys of Maryland Award for Best Academic Record for receiving the highest grade-point average out of more than 70 undergraduate graduates.
The Sôgmô’s magna laus does not end with specific awards, but it also includes membership in a variety of honour societies and scholarly and professional fraternities. After þess first year, the Sôgmô became a member in both Alpha Lambda Delta (ΑΛΔ) and Phi Eta Sigma (ΦΗΣ) for exemplary first-year work. In the Spring of 2015, in the first year of the society, the Sôgmô became a member of the Lavender Leadership Honors Society at the University of Maryland in recognition of þess leadership and activism for the bisexual community. In March 2016, the Sôgmô became a member of the Classics honours society, Eta Sigma Phi (ΗΣΦ), and in April was invited to Phi Kappa Phi (ΦΚΦ) for being in the top 7.5% of þess university class. In March 2017, the Sôgmô was inducted into Phi Alpha Theta (ΦΑΘ), despite being invited to the fraternity in March 2016. Finally, in May 2017, the Sôgmô was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa (ΦΒΚ), the oldest and most prestigious honours society in the United States.
During the Sôgmô’s four years at the University of Maryland, the Sôgmô engaged in a variety of campus and civic philanthropic activities. For four years, the Sôgmô was a member of Bisexuals at Maryland (BAM), a support and discussion group for bisexual/pansexual/queer members of the university community; for three years, the Sôgmô even facilitated and led the group. In that position, the Sôgmô took part in a variety of activities, including taking part at campus events directed toward LGBTQ+ and other marginalised or disadvantaged students. After the tragedy at Pulse in Orlando, FL, USA, the Sôgmô joined with student leaders from a variety of backgrounds but primarily from LGBTQ+, Muslim, and Latinx student communities to discuss cross-group collaboration. As a result of this activism, the Sôgmô joined the Bisexual Leadership Roundtable in 2015 and attended the Third Annual Bisexual Community Briefing at the White House on 26 September 2016 under the Obama administration. In November 2016, in the wake of the frenzy and anxiety after the election of Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States, the Sôgmô met with these leaders again and with more than 50 others to plan a student-led walk-out and to give a list of demands to campus administration. In addition, for four years, the Sôgmô was an executive member in a variety of capacities of a group for undergraduate students interested in classical literature and in mythology, the Classics Club.
To these philanthropic endeavours can be added the Sôgmô’s own jobs and work. For much of his career at the university—while earning high marks in þess coursework, attaining high honours, and devoting þess time to the betterment of the community with loving-kindness—the Sôgmô worked two or three jobs simultaneously. The Sôgmô was a long-time worker at the University Libraries in a multitude of departments, from Interlibrary Loan to the Library Services Division. Það joined the libraries in January 2014, while also working for Papa John’s Pizza. In Spring 2016, in addition to tutoring Latin and þess two jobs at the libraries, the Sôgmô also became the Digital Communications Assistant in the Classics department and later in the History department.
To these should be added some final notable academic and professional events. The Sôgmô became close friends and colleagues with a multitude of students from a variety of disciplines and interests, but especially with graduate students in both the History and Classics departments. In February 2017, the Sôgmô presented at þess first conference held by the History Graduate Student Association (HGSA). Meanwhile, það also successfully applied, interviewed, and received multiple acceptances from a variety of PhD. programs in Ancient History. In April, the Sôgmô accepted an offer to become a PhD. student in the Interdepartmental Program in Greek and Roman History (IPGRH) at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The program and the university is considered one of the best for studying Ancient History in North America. At the same time as the Sôgmô was presenting þess honours thesis, það also learned that þess paper was approved for the annual meeting of the Classical Association of Atlantic States (CAAS) in October 2017—meaning that the Sôgmô will be entering graduate school having presented at two conferences. In addition, the undergraduate humanities journal at the University of Maryland, Janus, has accepted the Sôgmô’s submission of a chapter from þess honours thesis—meaning that the Sôgmô’s scholarship will be published by a peer-reviewed journal, though an undergraduate journal.
The Sôgmô is a member of the Society for Classical Studies (SCS), the Classical Association of the Midwest and South (CAMWS), and the Classical Association of Atlantic States (CAAS). Það intends to join the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA), the Association of Ancient Historians (AAH), and the American Historical Association (AHA).
All of this scholarly, academic, and professional work was done at the same time the Honourable Sôgmô also successfully governed the State of Sandus.
Plaudamus igitur illum Honorabilem Sôgmônem. Let us therefore applaud the Honourable Sôgmô.
PASSIONI OMNIUM FINIENDAE
In the Name of the Three Jewels and the Benedictions of All the Gods
the Central People’s Government of the State of Sandus