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Valedictorian and Salutatorian named for Dartmouth Class of 2003

Posted 06/06/03, by James Donnelly

Following calculation of final four-year grade point averages for the Dartmouth Class of 2003, which will graduate Sunday, June 8, Latchezar L. Benatov of Sofia, Bulgaria, has been named valedictorian. Justin M. Walsh of Quincy, Mass., will be salutatorian.

Over the course of his career as a Dartmouth undergraduate, Benatov achieved a 3.99 grade point average (GPA) out of a possible 4.0 on the Dartmouth grading scale. Walsh achieved a 3.98 GPA.

Benatov will give an address during the College's commencement ceremonies, which will be held on the Dartmouth Green beginning at 9:30 a.m. Sunday.

Latchezar L. Benatov of Sofia, Bulgaria, has been named valedictorian

Biographical Background

Benatov, a double major in physics and math, served as the past treasurer and vice president of the Amarna undergraduate society, a coeducational residential social organization and was active in the International Students Association.

During two terms away from campus-summer 2000 and spring 2001-Benatov worked in Sofia, Bulgaria, translating documents from Bulgarian to English and vice versa. During the summer of 2002 he conducted a research project on quantum double-well potential with Jay Lawrence, Professor of Physics and Astronomy, that became part of his senior honors thesis. The following winter he traveled to Paris to participate in a French foreign study program.

Benatov was a Rufus Choate Scholar-meaning he was among the academic top five percent of undergraduate students-each year as an undergraduate. He was a Presidential Scholar Research Assistant during the summer and fall of 2001. He was also a study group leader for physics and a grader in the math department. He has been inducted into the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, the Golden Key Honor Society and the Phi Beta Kappa society. Benatov received four undergraduate citations for excellence in math, two in physics and one in biology.

His athletic interests include running, swimming, recreational rowing and hiking. He is also interested in linguistics and foreign languages, is fluent in Bulgarian, English and French, and speaks some Russian and Hebrew.

Justin M. Walsh of Quincy, Mass., will be salutatorian

Walsh is a double major in economics and math and the former president and treasurer of Kappa Kappa Kappa fraternity. He also served as treasurer of the Club of Dartmouth Entrepreneurs. In the summer of 2000 he worked for Salomon Smith Barney, in the fall of 2001 with Price Waterhouse Coopers IT as a consulting intern and in the summer of 2002 with Goldman, Sachs & Co. as a investment banking analyst.

Walsh participated in the Siena, Italy, language study abroad program in spring 2001. He has been a Rufus Choate Scholar each year since 1999 and is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, the Golden Key Honor Society and the Phi Beta Kappa Society. He has received four citations in computer science, two in math and one each in Italian and economics.

Walsh has worked with the Prison Project community service program. His other interests include golf and automobiles.

- James Donnelly

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