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Lawrence University recognized professors Richard Sanerib and Randall McNeill for their teaching contributions Sunday at the college’s 154th commencement.

Sanerib, associate professor of mathematics, received Lawrence’s Excellence in Teaching Award, given annually to a faculty member for “outstanding performance in the teaching process, including the quest to ensure students reach their full development as individuals, human beings and future leaders of society.”

McNeill, assistant professor of classics, was presented the Outstanding Young Teacher Award in recognition of demonstrated excellence in the classroom and the promise of continued growth.

A specialist in logic, algerbra and topology, Sanerib joined the Lawrence mathematics department in 1976. Among the courses he teaches are calculus, foundations of algebra and graph theory while his research interests include the history of mathematics.

Sanerib, who received Lawrence’s Young Teacher Award in 1979, is one of only four faculty members to receive both teaching honors in the 29-year history of the two awards.

In presenting the award, Lawrence President Richard Warch hailed Sanerib as the type of teacher “parents hope their children will encounter in college.”

“You fill the classroom with an infectious passion for mathematics and then fill your office hours with the sage and thoughtful guidance of a caring mentor,” Warch said. “Outside the classroom, you are at perfectly scripted times coach, cheerleader, wise counselor, psychologist, quiet listener and good friend. When students need to look into themselves, you hold up the mirror.”

A native of Boston, Sanerib earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics at St. Anselm¹s College and his doctorate in mathematics at the University of Colorado.

McNeill, who joined the Lawrence classics department in 1999, is a specialist in Latin poetry, particularly the work of Roman poet Horace, as well as Greek and Roman history.

His 2001 book, “Horace: Image, Identity and Audience,” examines the techniques Horace used to depict his personal existence and how those techniques influenced, and were adapted by, later Roman poets.

Warch cited McNeill’s passion, energy and enthusiasm for the classical languages in presenting him the award.

“Your classes are like the Lawrence hockey games you love to watch — fast and furious — and that’s why your students get caught up in all the excitement,” Warch said. “Your lectures are stimulating, engaging and entertaining and they are complemented by comprehensive study guides that you faithfully and laboriously prepare for your students. Whether it’s a vexing grammatical challenge or an historical conundrum, your explanations are always down-to-earth and right on the mark.”

Born and raised in Chicago, McNeill earned a bachelor’s degree in classics at Harvard University and his Ph.D. in classics at Yale University.