Zachary Ara Elmassian ’10
B.A. in History
East Lansing, Mich.
Zachary, as you stood on this stage at last year’s Academic Awards Convocation singing a tune from Stephen Sondheim, little did you know that you would take the stage again today in the same spot, but for a different reason. During your Denison career you have inscribed an arc of stellar artistic achievement in song and theatrical performance, intersected and enriched by an equally exceptional academic performance that has earned you the high honor of Phi Beta Kappa. Your professors in history, theatre and music form a chorus in singing your praises for your intense classroom engagement and intellectual curiosity. One calls you a leader of the class, unafraid to ask questions. Another lauds your research and writing skills, citing as an example your brilliant research paper on how Patton and Montgomery were portrayed in the major American and British newspapers and magazines of the day.
That same passion and brilliance is mirrored in your many memorable stage performances, from your finely-chiseled, non-sterotypical portrayal of the charismatic Reverend Mathew Harrison Brady in Inherit the Wind, to your recent rollicking rendition of “Non piu andrai” from The Marriage of Figaro—a performance that brought down the Burke Recital house. Everything you have done in the arts, you have done with elegance and sophistication – and yes, with flare. Just to name a few of your long-term commitments: you have been fellow and honorary president in the department of history, member of Nursing Home Companions, and prominent participant in the Chamber Singers, Concert Choir, theatre mainstage, DU Wop, and the Denison Independent Theatre Association.
Zachary, at Denison you have blended stage presence with an extraordinary presence of mind, leaving in your wake a vivid, larger-than-life image. As you enter your graduate career in voice and opera, we look forward with great anticipation to your next great stage.
Michigan State University – High Achievers Summer Honors Program; Dean’s List; Phi Beta Kappa; Department of History of Student Assistant; Chapel Council; Chamber Singers Ensemble; Bluegrass Ensemble; Denison University Nursing Home Companions; IES Study Abroad Program Vienna, Austria; DUWOP a capella group; Mortar Board Senior Honorary; Phi Alpha Theta, President; Denison University Theatre Productions – Into The Woods, Honk! The Musical, Pirates of Penzance, Inherit the Wind, The Gondoliers, A Little Night Music, and Venus & Adonis.