Walker Cup finalists decided, Duncan, Fears, Halffield

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The finalists for this year’s Walker Cup Award have been decided. They are seniors Perrin Duncan, Sarah Fears and Claire Halffield.

Since 1922, with a brief hiatus in the 1970’s, the Walker Cup has been awarded to a graduating senior credited with contributing the most to the DePauw community in his or her time here. The three finalists are first determined through a vote by each member of the senior class. From the three receiving the largest number of votes, the winner is determined by a committee composed of the President and the faculty members that are heads of departments.

Perrin Duncan

The DePauw (TDP): Tell me how you feel about being nominated for the Walker Cup?

Perrin Duncan (PD): Well, I think first of all that it’s a really kind nomination, and I think we have a lot of really stellar people in our class.

TDP: The Walker Cup is awarded to a member of the senior class who is thought to have done the most for DePauw during their time. Can you elaborate on what you think you have done for DePauw?

PD: That is a hard question because I feel like everyone does a lot in their own way. I was lucky to have gotten involved pretty early on… I got involved with student government my freshman year and I was involved until my junior year… Then I was on a multicultural committee, and we wrote the first white paper requesting there be a multicultural requirement. . . I got to serve on the search committee for Dr. McCoy, which was really cool and showed me a little more of the inside part of the University. . . I don’t know, I don’t think what I’ve done is necessarily deserving of an award of making a difference at DePauw because I think that it’s a community that makes a difference.

TDP: Who has helped you get this far in your DePauw career?

PD: There are so many people that it’s hard to say. I’ve had the best friends that I’ve ever had since coming to DePauw, so having friends that are confident in themselves both pushes you to be better and also develops this mutual respect of us all succeeding together… Outside of students, my professors have been amazing… Cara Setchell, she is like my mom here or my sister. What she and her husband, Steve Setchell, have done for me is something that I will never be able to thank them enough for. . . Anne Harris, I got to work with her and Dave Berque really closely when I was vice president of academic life, and I… respect their work and care for education . . . That’s just not even half of the people that I think have really helped influence me and encourage me and excite me about life at DePauw and pursuing education and getting me excited about learning as well as going out and making a difference in your community.

TDP: What would it mean to you to win the Walker Cup?

PD: Honestly, that would be a very huge honor, but I also know and completely respect Sarah Fears and Claire Halffield. Of course I would be happy and very humbled if I got it, but I also think that I am going to be standing next to two incredibly well-deserving people.

TDP: What will you do if you win this award?

PD: I don’t know. I don’t want to anticipate any sort of emotion or reaction. If I get it, then that’s great, but if I don’t, then it’s just such an honor to be nominated.

Sarah Fears

TDP: How do you feel about being nominated for the Walker Cup?

Sarah Fears (SF): I feel very honored and incredibly surprised. It wasn’t even on my mind that it could have been me, never thought that it was possible. The fact that my peers see something in me and think that I contribute something important to campus, it means a lot to me.

TDP: Can you elaborate on what you think you might have done for DePauw that would have gotten you nominated?

SF: I think what I’m probably most known for is my work on DePauw Dialogue for the past three years. Working with Christopher Wells, who was the former vice president for student life, I was the only student that took that on as an actual Winter Term class my sophomore year, and I have sat on the core committee for the past three years making it more accessible for students and making it like a more permanent part of the academic calendars. I’ve helped write the five year plan that includes the five years of DePauw Dialogue.

TDP: Who do you think has helped you get this far in your DePauw career?

SF: It’s a really big combination between faculty, administrators and peers. I would say that without faculty members, like, pushing me to get where I need to be and telling me that there’s something that they see in me that they think is positive. For administrators, when I’m really stressed out or I want to get something done, Anne Harris and Renee Madison are always available with open arms, open doors and willing to talk about campus issues with me. My peers just letting me know that things might get hard and that I’m a student first, keeping balanced.

TDP: What would it mean to you to win the Walker Cup?

SF: To win the Walker Cup would mean that little people who look like me or who do the work that I do are kind of seen because I feel like a lot of work that students do flies under the radar and that there are so many amazing people out there that could have been nominated, and it’s a win for all of us. It’s a win for women who get things done. It’s a win for people of color who step up to the plate. It’s a win for everybody who thought they couldn’t do it and did. It’s not just a personal win, it’s a win for everybody at large.

TDP: What will you do if you win this award?

SF: I think if I were to win, it would definitely be a very teary moment from someone that is not traditionally teary, and I don’t think it will change the trajectory of my life. It might be a validation of a job well done, but it’s not the end all be all. It’s not the end goal necessarily.

Claire Halffield

TDP: Tell me how you feel about being nominated for the Walker Cup?

Claire Halffield (CH): I feel honored, and fortunate, and excited, and really humbled that people think that I have done a lot for this school in the time that I’ve been here.

TDP: The Walker Cup is awarded to a member of the senior class who is thought to have done the most for DePauw during their time. Can you elaborate on what you think you have done for DePauw?

CH: My most obvious thing that I’ve done is with student government. I’ve been on student government since my freshman year… And this year, I am student body president, so I do a lot of things for that. I run committee meetings . . ., I still help write legislation, I meet with a lot of students and speak for a lot of students. My sophomore year I became involved with CODE T.E.A.L. My vice president, Charlie, and I turned it from just an organization to an officially student recognized club. I’ve been on the Green Dot committee since my sophomore year… I was also a member of the sexual assault coordinating committee, and I got to meet with staff, administrators and faculty members. Beyond that, I was the vice president of membership, so in charge of recruitment for my sorority. I’m in ICCF as an intercultural conversation facilitator, so I facilitate conversations about difficult topics. Right now for that, I actually helping to plan sex positivity week. I’ve been on the DePauw Dialogue planning committee. I’m on the transition team so helping plan the student orientation schedule.

TDP: Who has helped you get this far in your DePauw career?

CH: There are so many people… that [have] challenged my beliefs. That has been something that has been pretty prominent in my life, but helped me grow as a person as well. There are a lot of people who do really good and valuable work for the University that deserved to be thanked that never will… I would say, especially this year, Yuka [Kitajima], she’s been someone that has been really helpful for me. Sarah and Perrin, they’ve definitely pushed me a lot too because they are both amazing individuals and leaders. I have been both challenged and inspired by them. . . . There are so many people that I could list off. When I graduate, I’m going to miss seeing the people that walk down the street and don’t know well enough to say hey lets hang out again but will give me a hug and a smile and ask how I’m doing everytime I see them.

TDP: What would it mean to you to win the Walker Cup?

CH: In some ways it would be an interesting closing to my experience at DePauw, just in terms of my education in general. I have been incredibly fortunate and privileged and I feel lucky that I have been able to work hard while also use the experiences I have had, take the failures that I have had and risen up from. I think the Walker Cup would be a very humbling experience to feel appreciated, but at the same time being one of the three people that’s a finalist for the Walker Cup is something that already gives me those feelings.

The winner will be announced at the Academic Awards Convocation.  

 

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