Each year, Fordham recognizes the graduating class of International Political Economy and Development students at a December merienda. As far as I can tell, in the Philippines a brunch or mid-morning snack is called a merienda. Here at Fordham, the rules are changed a bit and the professors, students and the dean of the graduate school gather for a formal dinner and awards ceremony.
Be prepared readers, as our dear friend Elizabeth commented after the event, "Dominic won IPED!"
Dominic was inducted into Sigma Iota Rho, the Honor Society for International Studies. He was also inducted into the Ancient Order of the Silver Kalabaw for his studies in the Philippines last January. What was most impressive, however, is Dominic also received the Maria Carmella Dela Rosa Oliveros Award for earning a high pass on all four of his comprehensive exams and the Matteo Ricci Award for Academic Excellence! Way to go Dominic!
Here are three things I didn't know about Matteo Ricci before the Merienda:
- Ricci was a missionary in China in the 1500s: He wrote The True Meaning of the Lord of Heaven arguing that Confucianism and Christianity are similar in many ways. He used this idea as a missionary to convert Chinese men who were educated in Confucianism and the Chinese classics.
- Ricci was an intelligent man: He was one of the first Western scholars to master Chinese script and Classical Chinese. He was a skilled mathematician and cartographer.
- His current title is Servant of God. In the Catholic Church, this title designates someone who is being investigated by the Church for possibly being recognized as a saint.
The night is also a time for students to award their peers with superlatives. These fun certificates are meant to bring out the personality and lighthearted humor among the classmates. Dominic's superlative - a testimony to his leadership and charisma I'm sure - was:
Dominic: Most likely to serenade the crowd with a Katy Perry song when he's inaugurated as the 45th President of the U.S.
Now... where to hang that plaque?