Undergraduate Awards 2021
See the list of 2021 award winners and watch a video of the May 18 ceremony.
See the list of 2021 award winners and watch a video of the May 18 ceremony.
The Undergraduate Awards Ceremony recognizes the outstanding work of first-years, sophomores, and juniors throughout the year. Prizes are awarded in various areas of study, as well as for scholarship and citizenship. The majority of awards are named in honor of notable alumni and faculty, whose enduring legacies continue to shape the College today. (An annual awards ceremony for graduating seniors, known as Senior Assembly, is held separately.) Prior to 2019, this event was known as the College Meeting Awards.
The Samuel Walley Brown Scholarship, established by Samuel Walley Brown of the Class of 1866, is awarded to that member of the junior class who shall, in the estimation of the Trustees, rank highest in his or her class in character, class leadership, scholarship and athletic ability.
The Charles W. Cole Scholarship is awarded each year to the undergraduate with an established financial aid need, who, after two years at Amherst, stands highest in the academic rank of the sophomore class. The recipient will be designated “Charles W. Cole Scholar” and will carry the award for the junior and senior years at Amherst.
The Gordon B. Perry Memorial Award is awarded to a first-year in good academic standing whose participation and attitude in first-year athletics and other activities are outstanding.
The John Sumner Runnells Memorial, established in memory of John Sumner Runnells of the Class of 1865, is awarded to that member of the junior class who shall, in the opinion of the Trustees of the College, be preeminent in zeal for knowledge and industry to attain it.
The Athanasios Demetrios Skouras Prize given in memory of Athanasios Demetrios Skouras of the Class of 1936, who died in 1943 in Athens as a result of Nazi reprisal killings, is awarded to a student who, in the opinion of the Fine Arts Department, has created an outstanding work of art.
The Porter Prize, established by the late Eleazer Porter of Hadley, is awarded for proficiency in first-year astronomy.
The Sawyer Prize is awarded to that second-semester sophomore who, in the opinion of the Biology Department, has shown the most promise as a student of biology.
The David R. Belevetz ’54 Memorial Award in Chemistry, established by family and friends of David R. Belevetz ’54, is awarded to support the work of an Amherst student engaged in preparing a senior honors thesis, as determined by the Chemistry Department faculty.
The White Prize is awarded by the Chemistry Department to that chemistry major in the junior class who seems most likely to benefit from a summer’s research experience at Amherst. It consists of a summer research fellowship.
The Economics Department Junior Class Prize is awarded to that member of the junior class who, in the opinion of the Economics Department, has achieved a record of excellence in the study of economics at Amherst.
The Hamilton Prize, established by his former students in memory of Professor Walton Hale Hamilton, distinguished member of the Department of Economics from 1915 to 1923, is awarded to that first-year student who ranks highest in the economics courses he or she has taken.
The Armstrong Prize, established in part by Collin Armstrong of the Class of 1877 in memory of his mother, Miriam Collin Armstrong, is awarded to members of the first-year class who excel in composition.
The Collin Armstrong Poetry Prize, established in part by Mrs. Elizabeth H. Armstrong, is awarded to the undergraduate author of the best original poem or group of poems.
The Corbin Prize is awarded for an outstanding original composition in the form of poetry or an informal essay.
The G. Armour Craig Award for Prose Composition is awarded to that junior or senior who writes the best autobiographical essay on an experience of intellectual discovery.
The Peter Burnett Howe Prize for excellence in prose fiction, was established by a gift of Robert B. Howe of the Class of 1930 in memory of his son Peter Burnett Howe, 1960.
The Rolfe Humphries Poetry Prize is presented to that senior who has achieved the greatest sense of poetic form in his/her undergraduate writing. The award shall be made on the basis of three submissions to the English Department in the applicant's senior year and may include writing produced during the undergraduate years.
The Harry Richmond Hunter Jr. Prize, established by H. R. Hunter and Emma Louise Hunter in memory of their son Harry Richmond Hunter Jr. of the Class of 1929, is awarded to that member of the sophomore class who presents the best essay on a topic approved by the English Department.
The James Charlton Knox Prize, established by the friends of Jim Knox of the Class of 1970 to honor his memory and recognize his abiding interest in English literature, is given to the outstanding English student who demonstrates the greatest integration of scholarship, interest and creativity in the study of English.
The MacArthur-Leithauser Travel Award from an income of a gift by the MacArthur Foundation to the College in 1985 at the request of Brad Leithauser, MacArthur Fellow and Visiting Writer at the College from 1984 to 1985, is given annually by the English Department to a sophomore or junior of creative promise who might most benefit from exposure to a foreign landscape, for the purpose of enabling the student to travel outside the continental United States.
The Aliki Perroti and Seth Frank ’55 Prize is awarded to one or more students who produce works of analysis, criticism, and original academic writing about poets who are graduates of Amherst College or who otherwise have a significant identity and affiliation with the Amherst College community.
The Laura Ayres Snyder Poetry Prize, endowed by a gift from Jeffrey F. Snyder of the Class of 1960 in honor of his daughter, Laura Ayres Snyder of the Class of 1989, is awarded to a member of the junior class and is intended to subsidize a student-poet during the summer between his or her junior and senior years. The judges of the prize are one faculty member each from the Departments of English, Philosophy and Physics.
The Jeffrey J. Carre Award, established in 1983 by Professor Carre’s family, friends, professional colleagues and students, is presented to a sophomore or junior who has demonstrated excellence in the French language. The prize is to be used toward travel in France during the summer following the award.
The Harvey Blodgett Scholarship which was established by Frederick H. Blodgett in memory of his grandfather, Harvey Blodgett of the class of 1829, is awarded to aid student work in biology and geology in their educational phases as distinct from their more technical and strictly scientific phases.
The Phi Delta Theta Scholarship which was established by the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity, is awarded as a scholarship at the Woods Hole Marine Laboratory to a student for proficiency in biology.
The Belt-Brophy Prize is awarded to that undergraduate who, in the judgment of the staff of the Department of Geology, has shown the greatest promise for success as a geologist. The prize is given in honor of Professors Edward S. Belt and Gerald P. Brophy, who, through their combined 78 years of teaching, brought geology at Amherst College into a 21st-century study of the earth and environment. The prize consists of a Brunton compass with field case, the most versatile field tool of the geologist.
The Consulate General Prize For Academic Achievement in German Literature, made available by the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Boston is awarded to that student who, in the judgment of the Department of German, has written the best paper as part of a German course.
The William C. Collar Prize, established by William C. Collar of the Class of 1859, is awarded to the member of the first-year class who shall make on a written examination the best version in English of a previously unseen page from some Greek author.
The Samuel Bowles Prize, established by Samuel Bowles King of the Class of 1902, to stimulate interest in journalism as a career, is awarded to a student who has demonstrated proficiency in journalism.
The Billings Prizes were established in memory of Parmly Billings of the Class of 1884. Two prizes are awarded for general excellence in the Latin courses of the sophomore year together with the best essays on special topics connected with the authors read in that year.
The Crowell Prizes were established in memory of Edward Payson Crowell of the Class of 1853. Two prizes are awarded—one for the highest scholarship in the first-year Latin courses and the other to the students who, together with attaining a high average in the Latin courses of the junior year, present the best essays on some approved topic connected with the junior Latin course.
Robert C. Vogel ’60 Undergraduate Prize is awarded every year to the junior student showing the most accomplishment in the field of Latin American and Latinx studies.
The Frederick S. Lane ’36 Fellowship For Creative Artists is awarded to students using historical and rare source materials from Amherst College Archives and Special Collections towards projects in the arts.
The Walker Prizes in Problem Solving were established by William J. Walker of Newport, Rhode Island. Two prizes are awarded for proficiency in mathematics of the first year, and two prizes for proficiency in mathematics of the second year. In each case the award is determined by an examination.
The Walker Award for Leadership is awarded to a student for outstanding leadership and for contribution to the mathematics and statistics community at Amherst.
The Walker Teaching Award is awarded to a student for accomplishment and promise in teaching and tutoring mathematics or statistics.
The Wise Award for Studio Art is presented annually in the spring to a student in the College for distinction in the completion of an original work or works of art and the purchase thereof. The prize-winning work of art will become the property of the Trustees of Amherst College.
The Bassett Physics Prizes were established by Preston Rogers Bassett of the Class of 1913. Two prizes may be awarded each year to those students who have distinguished themselves by the excellence and maturity of their performance in the class and laboratory work of the first course in physics.
The Gilbert Prize which was established by William O. Gilbert of the class of 1890, is awarded to a member of the junior class who produces the best oration. Both composition and delivery are considered in making the award.
The Kellogg Prize, established by Rufus B. Kellogg of the Class of 1858, consists of two prizes which are awarded to members of the sophomore or first-year classes for excellence in declamation.