GREENSBORO, N.C. – Greensboro College has awarded the Harold H. Hutson Award, presented annually to the outstanding traditional graduating senior, to Alla Ahmed Alaghbri of High Point.
Alaghbri, who received his B.A. in history and religion summa cum laude (with highest honors) today, came to the U.S. in high school from his native, war-torn Yemen, where he had once belonged to the Yemeni national tennis team. He has earned a full scholarship to the University of Chicago to pursue a doctorate with some of the world’s top experts in Islamic studies and eventually become a professor.
Alaghbri was cited for having overcome “challenges for his educational path, his family, and his life’s direction” and having become “exceptionally positive, focused, driven, humble and hopeful (while) surmounting all his challenges.”
“Alla is very open about the challenges of being a Yemeni refugee in the U.S. and welcomes conversations about Islam, Muslim traditions, the relationship between Islam and Christianity, and being Muslim on a Christian campus,” said Paul Leslie, senior vice president and chief academic officer. “He is a model of benevolence and tolerance and could not be a better representative of the values of Greensboro College.”
Alaghbri, his citation noted, “has already presented many of his research papers at scholarly conferences, all of which have won prizes based on competitive evaluation by professionals.”
His nominators wrote, “ … Alla does not work for grades or recognition. He is focused on his end goals, and works very hard to position himself for success. He is dedicated to his studies, will not settle for anything less than his best work. …
“He seeks to better understand the medieval Islamic texts and their influence on the understanding of knowledge and its use in theological tradition.”
The Hutson Award, named after the college’s 11th president, the Rev. Dr. Harold H. Hutson, who served from 1952 to 1964, recognizes a student selected by the faculty who:
- Has developed a sense of direction.
- Has a high degree of confidence to be used in approaching his or her career objectives.
- Has a sense of values in that he or she can take each new experience and judge it in terms of things he or she feels important.
- Has a sense of scholarship, working not for grades alone but for the satisfaction of scholarly accomplishment
- Has a wide range of interests including music, art, athletics, and reading.
- Has shown a definite degree of maturation in his or her years at Greensboro College.
Greensboro College provides a liberal arts education grounded in the traditions of the United Methodist Church and fosters the intellectual, social, and, spiritual development of all students while supporting their individual needs.
Founded in 1838 and located in downtown Greensboro, the college enrolls about 1,000 students from 29 states and territories, the District of Columbia, and a dozen foreign countries in its undergraduate liberal-arts program and six master’s degree programs. In addition to rigorous academics and a well-supported Honors program, the school features a 17-sport NCAA Division III athletic program and dozens of service and recreational opportunities.
Think critically. Act justly. Live faithfully.
Lex Alexander, Director of Communications
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Greensboro, NC 27401
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