Senior Prizes

Senior Prizes

Academic Achievement Award in Computer Science
In recognition of outstanding academic performance in computer science.

The Academy of American Poets Award
A prize for the best undergraduate poetry. Every year the English department has the honor of administering the award of an Academy of American Poets Prize. This prize is given by certain colleges and universities in this country whose creative writing programs are known to be strong.

The Judith Adams ’75 Prize for Premedical Students
Established in honor of Judith Adams, M.D., Class of 1975, by her father, Judge Arlin M. Adams. The prize is given to a graduating senior in premed who has maintained an exemplary academic record throughout her career
at Wellesley.

The Lucy Branch Allen Prize
Established in 1934 by an anonymous friend in memory of Lucy Branch Allen of the Class of 1897. The biological sciences department awards this prize each year to an exceptional student of natural history.

The Alpha Kappa Delta Award for Distinction in Sociology
An award given to the senior who has maintained the very highest academic record in her sociology major. (Prior to 1989, it was named the Alan Eister Award.)

The Harold E. Andrews Award in Recognition of Service to the Geosciences Department
Celebrates the extraordinary dedication of Professor Harold Andrews, Geosciences from 1971–2006. This award honors a Senior for outstanding service to the work of the Geosciences Department.

The Jean Anyon Prize for Research, Action, and Writing in the Field of Education
The Jean Anyon Prize, named in memory of one of the leaders of the modern study of urban education, is awarded to a senior for the best action research paper in an education course.

The Adrienne Asch Prize in Health and Society
Given in honor of Adrienne Asch (1946–2013), Wellesley College faculty member from 1994 to 2005, who was dedicated to promoting justice in health and health care. This prize is awarded annually to a student who has demonstrated academic excellence as well as commitment to positive social change in health/health care.

The Paul R. Barstow Award for Theatrical Excellence
This award is given in recognition of exceptional student achievement in the course of a theatrical career at Wellesley.

The Adelaide Niles Belyea Prize in Botany
Founded in 1974 to be awarded to a student who has exhibited general excellence in plant science.

The Billings Academic Award in Music
Given in recognition of excellence in music studies.

The Billings Performance Award in Music
Given in recognition of an outstanding contribution to the community through the performance of music.

The Ralph H. Bollard Prize for Distinction in American History
Established in 1961 by his daughter Margaret Bollard Rogers of the Class of 1930 to promote at Wellesley College knowledge of and interest in United States history, with preference given to Constitutional history.

The Natalie Bolton Faculty Prizes in Economics, Econometrics, Domestic Economics,
and International Economics

A group of alumnae and friends of Natalie Bolton ’33 set up a fund in her honor. She was an Econ major and one of the first women to enter the investment field. This fund is used each year to present paper prizes for the best 200 level, 300 level, and Econometrics papers and prizes to students with the best thesis in Domestic and International Economics. The winners are selected by a committee of faculty in the Economics Department. 

The Natalie Bolton Student Prize in Economics
Awarded to the economics major designated by her peers as an outstanding economist.

The Maria Luisa Bombal Prize in Spanish
Awarded each year in memory of the great Chilean novelist to a student who has distinguished herself in the field of Latin American literature.

The Nathalie Buchet Fellowship
Named in memory of Nathalie Buchet, a professor of 19th-century French literature, the Nathalie Buchet Fellowship is awarded each year on a competitive basis to a French major who is planning to write a senior honors thesis. The fellowship provides funding to support the student’s thesis research during the summer preceding her senior year.

The Barbara Bush Award for Volunteerism
Established in recognition of Barbara Bush’s visit to Wellesley College as the Commencement speaker on June 1, 1990. Given the College’s motto and the First Lady’s dedication to public service, the award is intended to ensure that generations of Wellesley students experience and understand the importance of volunteerism.

The Stanford Calderwood Prize in Public Writing
The Stanford Calderwood Prize in Public Writing is awarded annually to recognize exceptional pieces written by students taking a Calderwood Seminar in Public Writing. The seminars challenge students to translate complex arguments and professional jargon from their disciplines into writing targeted to the general public.

The Susan Lee Campbell Memorial Prize for Graduate Study in the Health Professions
Awarded to a senior or alumna qualifying for professional training in health careers who has exhibited strong motivation and potential for accomplishment, sound academic achievement, leadership potential, unusual openness to new ideas, and a sensitivity to her fellow human beings.

The Martha MacDowell Carpenter Prize
Awarded to a graduating senior contemplating a career in medicine whose academic work is judged to be of the highest standard of achievement.

The Cervantes Prize in Spanish
A prize established by former Professor Alice Bushee for the best paper written on Cervantes.

The Chemistry Leadership Award
Chemistry is best practiced in an active and collaborative community of scientists, thoughtfully, creatively, and enthusiastically participating in the pursuit of understanding in the classroom and beyond. The Chemistry Leadership Award is given to the student who best exemplifies these principles in her life within the Wellesley College Chemistry Community.

The Right Honorable Ann Clwyd, M.P. Prize in Human Rights
The Ann Clwyd, M.P. Prize in Human Rights was established in 2008 to honor the work of Ann Clwyd, a member of the British Parliament, and a leading figure in the promotion and protection of both national and global human rights. The prize is awarded annually to a graduating senior who has performed outstanding work in the academic study of human rights, and who has demonstrated her commitment as a human rights practitioner working with others to advance human rights in the world.

The Jean V. Crawford Prize in Chemistry
The Jean V. Crawford Prize in Chemistry has been established by the chemistry department to honor the memory of the late Jean Crawford, professor of chemistry at Wellesley from 1951 to her retirement in 1985. It is given annually to up to four students who have demonstrated outstanding knowledge of chemistry in course work and in research and who show great potential as teacher/scholars.

The Davenport Performance Prize for Acting
Established in 1922 by George H. Davenport, a former Trustee.

The Johanna Mankiewicz Davis Prize for Prose Fiction
A memorial prize for excellence in prose fiction.

The Kathryn Davis Prize in Russian Area Studies
An occasionally awarded prize that recognizes a graduating Russian area studies major who has achieved exceptional distinction in the field.

The Kathryn Wasserman Davis ’28 Art Prize
This prize is awarded to a Wellesley student for a paper written about any object or event associated with the Davis Museum and Cultural Center.

The Deborah W. Diehl Prize for Distinction in History
A memorial prize for excellence in history.

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas Prize for Environmental Activism
The prize is given in honor of Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Class of 1912, who worked with foresight and passion for over half a century to protect and restore the Everglades. This prize is awarded to a student activist who successfully combines study of the environment with outstanding accomplishment in environmental activism.

The John Charles Duncan Prize in Astronomy
Established by former students and friends in honor of John Charles Duncan, Professor Emeritus of Astronomy.

The Ella Smith Elbert ’88 Prize
Awarded for the best essay, article, or research paper submitted by a junior or senior on a topic relevant to Black studies. This prize is in memory of Ella Smith Elbert, Class of 1888, Wellesley’s second Black graduate.

The Erasmus Essay Prize in History
Established by a member of the Class of 1920, the prize is awarded for the best piece of historical or political research presented by a senior.

The Elizabeth Vogel Falk Prize in German
Awarded annually to a student in the German department who has demonstrated outstanding progress and shown sophisticated quality of mind in literary studies.

The Fiske Prize in Biology
Established in honor of Professor Virginia Fiske, who was a member of the biology department for many years, to recognize and encourage those outstanding students who have shown a genuine interest in biology and who will be continuing their study of science or teaching in biology.

The Isabelle Eastman Fiske Performance Prize for Acting
Established in 1924 by Otis H. Fiske in honor of his daughter, Class of 1923.

The Phyllis J. Fleming Prize for Distinction in Physics
Established to honor Professor Phyllis Fleming and recognize her commitment to Wellesley College and her generosity in giving so much of her time, interest, and energy, and awarded by the physics department to a student in recognition of outstanding achievement.

The Jacqueline Loewe Fowler ’47 Prize in Public Speaking
Created in 2015 to honor Mrs. Fowler’s support of public speaking at Wellesley. Awarded to the winner(s) of the Ruhlman Conference’s contest in public speaking.

The Carlo François Prize For Excellence in French
The Carlo François Prize for Excellence in French is awarded to French majors who are not native French and are not children of native speakers of French. Students submit an essay written for either French 222 or French 223. The award is in recognition of the student’s mastery of the language and the quality of her written French.

The French House Award in Cultural Studies
The French House Award in Cultural Studies is a prize offered to French majors. Students submit an essay on an aspect of French culture, such as history, art, cinema, sociology, or political science.

The Friends of Art Prize for Excellence in Studio Art
The Friends of Art Prize for Excellence in Studio Art honors a graduating studio art major who has demonstrated not only exceptional skill, but a remarkable creative vision.

The Camilla Chandler Frost Prize in Environmental Studies
Given in honor of Camilla Chandler Frost, Class of 1947, whose generous gift contributed to the establishment of the interdepartmental major in environmental studies and the Frost Chair of Environmental Studies. This prize is awarded to a student who makes exceptional contributions to research in the field of environmental studies.

The A. Arthur Gottlieb, M.D., Endowed Memorial Prize
The A. Arthur Gottlieb, M.D., Memorial Prize was established by Mindy Gottlieb Davidson ’84 and her mother, Marise S. Gottlieb, M.D., and is awarded to a graduating senior majoring in biological chemistry who has demonstrated excellence in scholarship, originality, and/or creativity in the biochemical sciences and who wishes to follow a career in that area through basic medical/biochemical research, particularly in areas relating to the function and enhancement of the human immune system.

The Michel Grimaud Award for Excellence in the Translation of French
The French department established the prize in honor of Michel Grimaud, a teacher and scholar beloved by many students and faculty, who taught at Wellesley beginning in 1976. He was a widely published scholar in the fields of nineteenth-century literature and psychology, onomastics, and translation.

The Jorge Guillen Prize in Spanish Studies
Given annually in honor and memory of the distinguished Spanish poet and Wellesley professor to a student who has excelled in Spanish studies.

The Fannie Lou Hamer Prize in Africana Studies
Awarded for the best essay, article, or research paper submitted by a first-year student or sophomore on a topic relevant to Africana studies. This prize is in memory of Fannie Lou Hamer, a Mississippi plantation worker all her life before she became involved in the Civil Rights movement in 1962, a field worker for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and an organizer of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party.

The Barbara Barnes Hauptfuhrer Scholar Athlete Award
Awarded to the Wellesley College senior who best combines excellence in scholarship, leadership, sportsmanship, and athletic achievement.

The Martha Davenport Heard Prize in Mathematics
The prize was established in 2002 by Judith Underwood Stewart, Class of 1977, in honor of her mother, Martha Davenport Heard, in recognition of excellence in mathematics.

The Ethel L. Hersey Prize in American Studies
The Ethel L. Hersey Prize in American Studies rewards excellence in writing in the field of American studies. The prize considers exceptional essays written in any of the many contributory disciplines of American studies, with a preference for an interdisciplinary approach. Winning essays embody superlative research, analysis, argumentation, and style in their exploration and illumination of American topics.

The Peggy Howard Fellowship
An award established by Anne and Gordon Howard, parents of the late Peggy Howard, Class of 1966 and Ph.D. in economics from Yale, for a Wellesley economics major who has been accepted for graduate study.

The Hubel Thesis Prize
The Hubel Thesis Prize is given in recognition of an outstanding thesis in neuroscience to a graduating Wellesley College senior. The prize recognizes not only the original contribution to scientific knowledge of the thesis, but also the clarity of writing. The prize is given in honor of David Hubel, whose seminal work on the neural basis of vision was widely recognized for its lucidity.

The Zora Neale Hurston Prize in Africana Studies
This prize is awarded for the best essay, article, or research paper submitted by a senior on a topic relevant to Africana Studies. This prize is in memory of Zora Neale Hurston, an author, anthropologist, and folklorist. Zora Neale Hurston is considered one of the pre-eminent writers of twentieth-century African-American literature. Hurston was closely associated with the Harlem Renaissance and influenced such writers as Ralph Ellison, Toni Morrison, Gayle Jones, Alice Walker, and Toni Cade Bambara.

The Hypercube Prize in Chemistry
The prize is awarded to a chemistry or biological chemistry major who has demonstrated excellence in coursework and evidence, or promise, of exceptional ability to do independent research.

The Jacqueline Award for Literary Essay
Established by Eleanor and Rosamond Peck in memory of their sister Jacqueline, Class of 1934, the prize is assigned with “particular reference to the ability of the student to write with delicacy and beauty of expression as well as power.”

The Japanese Essay Prize
Awarded for the best translation or essay in Japanese. An award to celebrate the best translation into English of Japanese fiction or poetry or the best essay written in the Japanese language. Currently sponsored by a grant from The Dayton Foundation and formerly by Lisa Tang and Makiko Deguchi.

The Rhys and Laurel Price Jones Team Leadership Award in Computer Science
The annual award is given to a graduating Computer Science major who has made extraordinary contributions to help and inspire teammates on collaborative work, bringing out the best in the team by their own efforts and encouragements.

The Klein Prize in Neuroscience in Memory of Louise Edwards
This prize is awarded to students who demonstrate a commitment to neuroscience and a lifelong pursuit of learning. The prize is given in memory of Louise Edwards, Lab Specialist in the Department of Biological Sciences at Wellesley College, who earned her Ph.D. in Neurobiology and Behavior.

The Doctor Leila C. Knox Prize in Biology
Established in memory of Doctor Leila C. Knox by her family to recognize excellence and concern for fellow human beings.

The Germaine Lafeuille Prize in French
Awarded in honor of Professor Emerita Germaine Lafeuille.

The Lamb Music Composition Prize
Established in 1976 by the music department, the purpose of this prize is to honor the accomplishments of Wellesley composers, past and present, and thereby to encourage composition.

The Joseph Lambie Economic History Prize
Awarded for outstanding work in American economic history.

The Sara F. Langer Memorial Award in Geosciences
Established by the parents of Sara F. Langer and the Class of 1978 to be awarded annually to an undergraduate majoring in geosciences who exhibits an eager curiosity in the field of geology, a dedication to excellence inside and outside the classroom, and a generosity of spirit in her day-to-day contributions to the College.

The Lingos Prize in the Life Sciences
Awarded to a student who has demonstrated both a marked aptitude for independent research and a depth of understanding of the life sciences.

The Mary C. Lyons Prize for Writing
Awarded to a senior for an outstanding story, scholarly study, or essay reflecting topical interest and showing literary distinction.

The Katharine Malone Scholar
Given to a truly outstanding senior embodying the educational ideal of Plato’s guardian.

The Barnette Miller Foundation Essay Prizes
Established in 1980 as an essay contest in the field of international relations in the history and political science departments to encourage interest in international relations studies.

The Barnette Miller Prize for Distinction in International Relations–History
The Barnette Miller Prize for Distinction in International Relations–History is awarded to a senior who has done outstanding work in the International Relations–History major.

The Gabriela Mistral Prize in Spanish
Established in 1999 by Doctor William Garber and Doctor Philip Garber, the Honorary Consuls of Chile in Boston. The prize is awarded each year to a student or students who demonstrate excellence in Hispanic studies and especially Hispanic poetry.

The Multicultural Achievement Award
Given by the Wellesley College Diversity Coalition in recognition of outstanding contributions made by members of the Wellesley College community to the promotion and sustainment of diversity and inclusion.

The Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages Award
Awarded for excellence in the Study of Spanish Language and Hispanic Culture.

The Arthur O. Norton Prize for Research and Writing in the Field of Education
The Arthur O. Norton Prize, named in memory of the first chair of Wellesley College’s Education Department,
a noted historian of teacher education, is awarded to a senior for the best research paper in an education course.

The Agnes F. Perkins Prize for Prose
Awarded for creative or critical prose.

The Mary White Peterson Prize in Biological Sciences
Established in 1926 in memory of Mary White Peterson of the Class of 1908 for “evidence or promise of exceptional ability to do independent work.”

The Plogsterth Prize in Art History
Given by W. Thomas Plogsterth, whose daughter Ann is a member of the Class of 1965, for “outstanding work in art history, and preferably to a senior.”

The Pushkin Prize
Established in 1999 by the late Professor Emerita Ella Bones. The prize is presented to the senior major who shows greatest promise in the field of Russian language and literature.

The Charlotte Paul Reese ’38 Memorial Prize for Creativity in Writing
Established in 1995 by Robert Reese and Harriet Chamberlain Wilson ’38.

The Elizabeth Robinson ’78 Italian Studies Prize
The Elizabeth Robinson ’78 Italian Studies Prize is awarded to a senior or junior for the best paper written in Italian on any subject in the course of the academic year.

The Eliza Newkirk Rogers Prize for Architecture
The Eliza Newkirk Rogers Prize for Architecture is awarded to a senior who has distinguished herself in the study of Architecture.

The Justina Ruiz-de-Conde Prize in Spanish
Established in 1983 by her colleagues in the Spanish department, friends, and former students to express their affection and admiration for her lifelong dedication to fostering the love of Spanish culture. The prize is awarded each year to an outstanding student of Spanish studies.

The Allene Lummis Russell Prize in Neuroscience
The Russell Prize in Neuroscience is awarded each year in memory of Allene Lummis Russell, Class of 1946, whose many contributions to education and to the Neuroscience Program at Wellesley College have made a difference in our world. The Russell Prize is given to a graduating senior who has demonstrated exceptional promise through her achievements in research and academics while at Wellesley.

The Jane Harris Schneider ’54 Prize for Sculpture
The Jane Harris Schneider ’54 Prize for Sculpture is awarded to a student who exhibits exceptional promise
in Sculpture.

The F.A.O. Schwarz Foundation Fellowship
Established in memory of Professor Henry Schwarz, former chair of the Wellesley College History Department.

The Mayling Soong Foundation Essay Prize
Awarded for the best paper on East Asia or Southeast Asia.

The Laura Sperazi Memorial Award for Service
The Laura Sperazi Memorial Award for Service was established in 2011 and honors the memory of Laura Sperazi, who was a research assistant at the Stone Center from 1988 to 1991, and subsequently an educational advocate
on national, state, and local levels in Massachusetts and in Vermont. Laura was a tireless supporter of improving the quality of education for all, as well as instilling a love of all things poetic in life and nature. She was an
ardent supporter of the theatre at Wellesley College and was responsible for bringing the current director to the College in 1989. She will be long remembered by friends and colleagues as a tireless and joyous participant in
all aspects of life.

The Lewis Atterbury Stimson Prize in Mathematics
Founded in 1920 by Miss Candace Stimson of the Class of 1892 in memory of her father “because of his love
of mathematics.”

The Dudley Folk Templeton Memorial Prize in Religion
Awarded for writing on a religious topic.

The Margaret D. Thompson Award for Scholarship in the Geosciences
Honors the tradition of Professor Meg Thompson, Geology from 1976–2007. This award honors a Senior who shows outstanding scholarship in the Geosciences.

The Three Generations Prize for Writing in the Sciences
Open to all students at Wellesley, a prize given for an excellent paper in the sciences, excluding honors theses. Excellence is defined as a full and complex argument, clearly stated and well supported by evidence; argumentation that is accurate and appropriate to the discipline; and a level of diction that is clear and comprehensible to any intelligent reader.

The Three Generations Fund is the gift of the late Judith Stern Randal, her daughter Judith Randal Hines, and
her mother, Sybil Cohen Stern.

The Three Generations Prize for Writing in the Social Sciences
Open to all students at Wellesley, a prize given for an excellent paper in the social sciences, excluding honors theses. Excellence is defined as a full and complex argument, clearly stated and well supported by evidence; argumentation that is clean and comprehensible to any intelligent reader.

The Three Generations Fund is the gift of the late Judith Stern Randal, her daughter Judith Randal Hines,
and her mother, Sybil Cohen Stern.

The E. Tu Chinese Writing Prize
Established by Elizabeth Tu Hoffman, Class of 1976, in honor of Helen T. Lin’s teaching and influence in her life. This prize, which rewards excellence in achievement in Chinese language learning as exemplified in a written and taped essay, is given to encourage Wellesley students to further their Chinese language training and pursue their interest in China.

The Virginia Wainwright Sonnet Prize
Established in 1963 by Virginia Wainwright.

The Wall Street Journal Achievement Award
Awarded to an outstanding senior majoring in economics.

The Margaret E. Ward Prize in Women’s and Gender Studies
Established in 2007 by the Women’s and Gender Studies Department in honor of Margaret E. Ward, Professor of German and one of the founders of Women’s and Gender Studies at Wellesley. The prize is given to a graduating senior for academic excellence in Women’s and Gender Studies.

The Eleanor Webster Prize in chemistry
The prize in memory of Eleanor Webster will be awarded on the basis of the thesis in Chemistry which, in the opinion of the Department, represents true excellence for its writing and which could serve as an example to upcoming thesis students.

The Wellesley College Theatre Award
Awarded to the graduating student whom the faculty of the theatre department regards as having made a truly outstanding contribution to the life and work of both the department and the Wellesley College theatre production activities.

The Ethel Folger Williams Prize in German
Awarded annually to a sophomore who has shown exceptional progress in her study of the German language.

The Woodrow Wilson Prize in American Politics or Law
Awarded to a student for an outstanding paper on modern politics.

The Oprah Winfrey Award for Volunteerism
The award, established in 1998, honors the important connection between Oprah Winfrey’s speech at Commencement for the Class of 1997 and the College’s motto, “not to be ministered unto, but to minister.” This award supports a summer public internship that will enable a student to follow Ms. Winfrey’s example of service.

The Florence Annette Wing memorial Prize for lyric poetry
Given for excellence in lyric poetry.

The Natalie Wipplinger Prize in German
Awarded for outstanding work in German.

The Mary Ann Youngren Memorial Award in Critical Reading
Established in 1981 by Diana Lissauer Fraid to be awarded for the essay which best demonstrates a detailed responsiveness to the shape and substance of a work or works of English literature.