Amherst College Seal

The Undergraduate Awards recognize the outstanding work of first-years, sophomores, and juniors throughout the year. Prizes are awarded in 14 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.


Scholarship and Citizenship

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.

Divided among: Benjamin Xavier Gilsdorf ’21, Claire Monroe Hawthorne ’21, Ashira Celena Mawji ’21 and Arnav Nilay Parikh ’21

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.

Samantha Yiran Liu ’21

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.

Ada Okorogheye ’23

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.  

Divided between: Manuel Rodriguez ’21 and Maya Abedin Hossain ’21


Astronomy

The Porter Prize, established by the late Eleazer Porter of Hadley, is awarded for proficiency in first-year astronomy. 

Divided between: Cailin Sage Plunkett ’23 and Huichen Wang ’23


Biology

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. 

Divided between: Andrea Munoz Ledo ’22 and Kelly Zheng ’22


Chemistry

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.

Divided between: Alyson Sage Plaman ’21 and Nina Jodko Fitzgerald ’21

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. 

Divided between: Chae Young Seo ’21 and Yusrah B. Kaudeer ’21


Economics

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.

Divided among: Pedro B. B. Balduino Morais ’21, Sirig Gurung ’21, Seamus Johnson Lawton ’21, Andrew Charles Swenson ’21 and Yujing Zhou ’21

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. 

Divided among: Quentin Liren Jeyaretnam ’23, Yee-Lynn Lee ’23 and David Xu ’23


English 

The Academy of American Poets Prize is awarded annually for the best poem or group of poems, preferably on nature, submitted by an undergraduate.

Kiera Kathleen Alventosa ’21

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.

Eli Connor Maierson ’23

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.

Divided among: Mary Elizabeth Brewer ’22, Silvia Xuanyi Huang ’22 and Bianca March Sass ’23

The Corbin Prize is awarded for an outstanding original composition in the form of poetry or an informal essay.

Divided between: Mary Elizabeth Brewer ’22 and Cy Nguyen ’21

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.

Emma Coleen Cape ’22

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.

Divided between: Abigail Akyaamaa Offei-Addo ’21 and Lianbi Ji ’21

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.

Divided among: Luyao Fu ’22, Julian Taylor Raiford ’21 and Sydney Scanlon ’22

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.

Annie Louise Martin ’22E


French

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.  

Divided between: Gregory Mitchell Kaplan ’21 and Kate Claypoole Lester ’22


Geology 

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.  

Divided between: Rilla McKeegan ’21 and Colin Murphy ’21


Greek

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. 

Gillian Ann Quinto ’23

The Hutchins Prize, established by Waldo Hutchins of the Class of 1842, is awarded for excellence in Greek.

Gregory Mitchell Kaplan ’21


Journalism

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.  

Divided among: Natalie Lauren De Rosa ’21, Olivia Isabella Gieger ’21 and a senior


Latin

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.

First: Samuel A. Melcher ’22

Second divided between: Amira Alfred Reyad ’22 and Olivia Shannon Doyle ’22

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. 

Junior First: Gregory Mitchell Kaplan ’21

Junior Second divided between: Emery Cholwell ’21 and Joshua Hyunbin Whang ’21

First Year First divided between: Umar Bin Ali ’23 and Ashley Y. Chang ’23

First Year Second: Cole House Ammons ’23


Latin American and Latinx Studies

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.

Manuel Rodriguez ’21


Mathematics and Statistics

The Five College Statistics Prize is awarded to a student for making an outstanding contribution to statistics and/or the statistics community in the Five Colleges. Contributions considered include: an independent research, thesis or capstone course project; service to statistics on their campus (or across campuses); use of Five College statistics resources; and outstanding coursework and exploration of the statistics curriculum.

Divided between: Enoch Young Min Shin ’21 and a senior

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.

Divided among: Subin Manandhar ’22, Elizabeth Pratt ’22, Yee-Lynn Lee ’23, Ethan Reich Spingarn ’23 and Shixiong Xu ’23

The Walker Award for Leadership is awarded to a student for outstanding leadership and for contribution to the mathematics and statistics community at Amherst.

Divided among: Andrea Boskovic ’21, Maria-Cristiana Girjau ’21, Noah Sebastian Solomon ’22 and Andrew R. Tawfeek ’21E

The Walker Teaching Award is awarded to a student for accomplishment and promise in teaching and tutoring mathematics or statistics.

Divided among: Shu Amano ’21, Lisa Ann Cenek ’21, Sirig Gurung ’21, Seamus Johnson Lawton ’21 and Juhyun Lee ’22


Mead Art Museum

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.

JiaJia Zhang ’22


Physics

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.  

Divided among: Beck Dacus ’22, Victoria Dominique Kuntz ’23, Kevin Lintao Ma ’23 and Ethan Reich Spingarn ’23


Public Speaking

The Kellogg Prize, established by Rufus B. Kellogg of the Class of 1858, consists of two prizes that are awarded to members of the sophomore or first-year classes for excellence in declamation.

Sophia Kubik ’23