Fehlauer, Weaver to be College’s first co-valedictorians
By Elysa L. Jacobs
Published on Sunday, June 8, 1997
For the first time in the College's history, two graduating seniors have been selected as class valedictorian.
Graduating seniors Daniel Fehlauer and J. Brooks Weaver will both speak at Commencement exercises today.
Both valedictorians are physics majors and are also double majoring -- Fehlauer in German Literature and Weaver in Religion. Both also have a 3.99 grade point averages. What is most startling is that the difference between their GPAs is only .00026455, according to a College news release.
Fehlauer said he found out Thursday at noon that he was one of the Class of 1997's two valedictorians. He said he was told a week ago that once the registrar received the final grades, it would be up to Dean Pelton to make the choice between Weaver and himself if their GPAs remained the same.
He added that he would have to "pull one last all-nighter" in order to write his valedictory address.
Weaver said he "hadn't made any inquiries" about his grade point average or who would be the valedictorian. He added that when he received the "sophomore prize I knew I was first in the class." However, Weaver said he did not get very emotional over the matter. He said, "if it happened, great -- if it didn't, no big deal."
Both seniors had outstanding academic records in order to become valedictorians. Weaver received 35 As and one A- while Fehlauer received 34 As and one A- according to the press release.
Weaver said he received the single A- in Plasma Physics and added that it was "a relief to lose the 4.0."
Fehlauer declined to reveal in what class he received his single A-
"Have a 4.0 is a burden," Weaver said. "The stakes get higher as time passes."
Fehlauer said having two valedictorians speak at graduation "takes a little bit of the pressure off" him.
He added that although the he and Weaver had taken classes together in the past they "hadn't really sat around and spoken." However, Fehlauer said "it was good talking to him" on Thursday afternoon and that he would "definitely not characterize [their relationship] as a rivalry."
While at the College, Weaver earned 14 citations for superior coursework in "basically ever department I have taken classes in," he said. He also concentrated some of his time on film studies, taught English and interned at the Doi-Tung Royal Development Project while on a six month leave term in Thailand, with funding from the Dickey Endowment, according the press release.
In addition to his outstanding scholarship, Weaver also is very active in a variety of extra-curricular campus activities. As co-president of the Yo-Yo Club, a member of the Z-Force action band, a freshman trip leader in 1996 for the Dartmouth Outing Club and member of the Lutheran Student Fellowship it is clear that Weaver is a student with a wide variety of interests and talents, according to the press release.
Fehlauer earned four citations for superior course work as well as a number of other awards, including a Fulbright Teaching Assistantship in German, the Pray Modern Language Prize for outstanding effort and achievement and the German Consulate Book award each of his four years at the College, according to the press release.
Fehlauer, like Weaver, also took time during his years the College to find interests outside the classroom, according to the press release. He also was a team leader of a weekly Christian fellowship meeting, performed as a vocalist and trombonist in several campus music groups and helped his intramural soccer team win the Intramural Soccer Championship in 1995.
Both of the valedictorians wrote honors theses as well. Weaver wrote a paper titled "Studies of a two-state atom interacting with the Radiation Field" while Fehlauer wrote about Group 47, an influential group of authors in post World War II Germany, according to the press release.
Fehlauer said this is not the first time he has had to share the title of valedictorian. He said he and a female classmate both spoke as valedictorians at their high school graduation because they had earned identical GPAs.