By MALI HEGDAHL
To conclude Teaching Appreciation Week, students’ favorite professors were honored at a luncheon Saturday.
The Student Alumni Association honored 71 professors by giving them the Student Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Graduating seniors voted for their favorite professor in their department, said Roxane Olsen, SAA president. They also voted for their favorite religion and overall professor, she said.
“I think the award is a wonderful way to recognize professors and their efforts in teaching and helping the students,” Olsen said.
The award allows students to voice their opinion about who they felt helped prepare them best for life, said Matthew Bond, SAA vice president.
The professors hear the great things their students say about them and it provides more incentive to continue excelling in their teaching abilities, Bond said.
Reed A. Benson, honored in the religion department, said receiving the award was a humbling experience.
“There are so many good teachers out there who are equally qualified, that I have mixed emotions about being singled out,” Benson said.
He said he wishes he could thank the students who were kind in their gratitude for his efforts.
Gary M. Booth, professor in the College of Biology and Agriculture, said the award means a lot to him because it comes from the student’s heart.
He said it is important for professors to always remember that the students are the life-blood of the professors.
“We must never forget that we are stewards,” Booth said.
As professors received their plaques at the luncheon, comments from anonymous students were read about them.
Of Mark Ricard, professor in the Physical Education Department, students said, “He was always more concerned about the students than anything else. He taught us the class material but we learned religion from his example.”
Of Alvin H. Price, professor in the Family Sciences Department, students said, “Even though I was one of 250 students in his class, I felt a concern on his part for me personally. He taught me the most applicable life skills I received while here at BYU.”
Remarks such as these were common among all those who were given the award, Olsen said.
Brian Miller, SAA vice president, said he thinks the award is an excellent way to show the students’ gratitude for the outstanding teachers on campus. “I don’t think they receive enough appreciation or thanks from the students.”
Miller said he thought the luncheon was one of the greatest events he has been to on campus.
Miller said, “I realized that we are surrounded with some of the greatest professors who dedicate their lives to teaching. They do it because they love teaching and they love the students.”