President Martin gives and award to a student at an outdoor ceremony


What is known today as the Undergraduate Awards Ceremony (formerly the College Meeting) has taken place at Amherst annually since 1828, almost as long as the College itself has existed. But giving out the awards never gets old.

That’s what President Biddy Martin told the award winners under a tent on the main quad on May 18, at the start of a ceremony that was livestreamed to their families, friends and classmates around the world. These prizes honor the achievements of first-years, sophomores and juniors in fields ranging from economics to public speaking to astronomy—achievements that are all the more impressive given the difficulties of this pandemic year.   

Provost and Dean of the Faculty Catherine Epstein announced the winners’ names and read the description of each award. “Now it gets complicated,” she said when she got to The Harvey Blodgett Scholarship, The Phi Delta Theta Scholarship and The Belt-Brophy Prize. Not only were these three geology prizes combined and divided among five students, but the students had to walk up twice: first to accept certificates, and again to receive “a Brunton compass with field case, the most versatile field tool of the geologist.”

At the end of the ceremony, before inviting the honorees to pick up commemorative pins and Mammoth cookies, Epstein urged them to make sure she had the correct pronunciations of their names, in case they win more awards in the future. Their accomplishments at Amherst are far from over.

Undergraduate Awards Ceremony 2021

May 18, 2021

Watch video of the ceremony, which took place on campus and was live-streamed to off-campus award recipients, families, and guests.

The 2021 Award Winners

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: Arinzeolisa Obiakalije Uddoh ’22, Sophia Fikke ’22, Ilyssa Sophia Forman ’22, and Emma Cape ’22

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.
Leah Johnson ’22

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.
Mufaro Mazambani ’24

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 among: Eva Nelson ’22, Malyaka Imran ’22, and Brook L. Harrington ’22


Art and the History of Art

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.
Divided between: Kendall Lindsey Greene ’24 and Grace Elizabeth LeCates ’22


Astronomy

The Porter Prize, established by the late Eleazer Porter of Hadley, is awarded for proficiency in first-year astronomy. 
Divided between: Alexander DelFranco ’24 and Elizabeth Hillenkamp ’24


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. 
Steven Yu ’23


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: Martin Bonseok Koo ’22 and Isabella Zappi ’22

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 among: Mayesha Ahmed ’22, Maria Gramotina ’22, and Jonah Horowitz ’22


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: Naya Burshan ’22, Aaron Rennert ’22, and David Xu ’23E

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: Sara Kao ’23, William Marshall ’24, and Lucas Diao Xiang Romualdo ’24


English

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.
Divided between: Fariya Ahmed Farah ’24 and Jordan Trice ’24

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 between: Arianna Herrera ’22 and Annie Martin ’22E

The Corbin Prize is awarded for an outstanding original composition in the form of poetry or an informal essay.
Divided among: Emma Cape ’22, Friya Ahmed Farah ’24, and a senior

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.
Divided between Mary Elizabeth Brewer ’22 and a senior

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.
Divided among: Sofia Belimova ’22, Bianca Sass ’23, and a senior

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.
Divided between: Annie Martin ’22E and a graduating senior

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.
Steven Yu ’23

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.
Maeve Brammer ’22

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: Olive Amdur ’23, Andrenae Jones ’23, and Devaansh Vivek Mahtani ’22

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.
Divided between: Caroline Seitz ’22 and a senior

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.
Mary Elizabeth Brewer ’22


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: Emma Valery Perry ’22 and Julissa Gabriella Tello ’23


Geology 

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.
Divided among: Sedalia Gomez ’22, Angelina Han ’22, Carley Malloy ’22, Caroline Needell ’22, and Petra Zuniga ’22

COMBINED WITH

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.
Divided among: Sedalia Gomez ’22, Angelina Han ’22, Carley Malloy ’22, Caroline Needell ’22, and Petra Zuniga ’22

along WITH

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 among: Sedalia Gomez ’22, Angelina Han ’22, Carley Malloy ’22, Caroline Needell ’22, and Petra Zuniga ’22


German

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.
Xinyi Zhao ’24


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.
Divided between: Petra Angelica Brusiloff ’24 and George Leland Culver ’24


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 between: Ryan Yu ’22 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: Ashley Y. Chang ’23
Second: Gillian Quinto ’23

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: Emery Cholwell ’22E
Junior Second: Not Awarded 2020-21
First Year First: Andrew C. Ni ’24
First Year Second: George Leland Culver ’24


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.
Divided between: Abner Aldarondo ’22 and Scott Chandler Brasesco ’22


Library

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.
Divided among Maeve Brammer ’22 and two seniors


Mathematics and Statistics 

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.
Sophomore First: Ethan Spingarn ’23
Sophomore Second divided between: Keane Yao Hua Ng ’23 and Shixiong Xu ’23
First Year First: Andrew C. Ni ’24
First Year Second: Alan Li ’24

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: Jonathan Paul ’22, Audrey Rosevear ’22 and Jessica Yu ’22

The Walker Teaching Award is awarded to a student for accomplishment and promise in teaching and tutoring mathematics or statistics.
Divided among: Anna Dietrich ’22, Luka Duranovic ’22, Leah Johnson ’22, Sophia Koh ’22, and Samantha Winton ’23


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.
Lauren Bell ’23E


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.
First divided among: Aidan Cook ’24, Michael Liu ’24, and Xinyi Zhao ’24
Second divided between: Megan Goh ’24 and Derek Zhang ’24


Public Speaking

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.
Divided between: Nicholas Graber-Mitchell ’22 and Silvia Huang ’22 

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.
Kobe Isiah Thompson ’24