More than 70 students inducted into honors organization

Aaron Mudd

Bowling Green freshman Sergio Ortega was one of 75 students who pledged to lead and serve the local community in front of an audience of about 120 people Tuesday night.

The students took the pledge in the Mass Media and Technology Hall auditorium after being inducted into the WKU chapter of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, an honors organization that recognizes first and second-year college students with GPAs of 3.4 and above. 

Ortega said he liked the organization’s outreach to Bowling Green. 

“I like doing stuff with the community and helping out,” Ortega said. 

 Grand Rapids, Michigan sophomore Luke Headley, the chapter’s vice president of Community Affairs, said one reason for the ceremony was to raise awareness for the chapter itself. 

Headley said the chapter was closed in 2012 after it did not meet minimum national requirements, such as membership count and membership activeness. The chapter returned last semester. 

“We really turned things around,” Headley said. “One of our members that just graduated, she said, ‘You guys don’t understand how much…you’ve made a difference.’”

The ceremony devoted time to honoring its distinguished members, one of whom was Paul Bush, an English professor who passed away last December. Bush’s son, Jeremiah, accepted the award on his father’s behalf. 

Chapter President Joseph Wallace, a Dunmor junior, knew Bush personally and played a video of Gemineye’s “Poetic Bloodlines” to honor his memory as a lover of poetry. Wallace spoke about Bush after the ceremony.

“He inspired me to write again,” he said. 

Wallace said he hadn’t written anything of significance for 10 years before meeting Bush, but began to write seriously after Bush encouraged Wallace to enter writing contests. 

John All, an associate professor of geography, was the ceremony’s keynote speaker. All shared video he captured while climbing out of a 70-foot crevasse he fell into while conducting research in the Himalayas. Despite a severely dislocated shoulder, broken ribs and internal bleeding, All escaped and survived. 

After reaching the surface, All crawled back to the tent and sent a distress call for help that arrived 19 hours later. All credits his survival to his experience with rock climbing. 

“Every day you should ask yourself, ‘What are you prepared for?’” All said. 

Ortega said he was inspired by All’s story.

“You know it takes a lot of heart, a lot of strength, a lot of willpower to do something like that,” Ortega said. “So I wanna be more like that, more like him.”