Jul 22, 2024  
2021-2022 Catalog 
2021-2022 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Honor Societies and Awards

Honor Societies


Phi Beta Kappa - The preeminent academic honor society in the United States and the oldest of the American Greek-letter societies, Phi Beta Kappa recognizes outstanding achievement in the study of the liberal arts. The Society was founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary and now has 283 chapters at colleges and universities across the country. The Davidson College Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa received its charter as Gamma of North Carolina from the United Chapters (now the Phi Beta Kappa Society) on March 1, 1923. Since then, the local chapter has elected over 2,900 members. Elections are held in the spring semester and are by ballot of the resident (faculty and staff) members of the chapter. In accordance with the constitution of the national Society, students elected must have qualifications of “high scholarship, liberal culture, and good character”; election is not automatic on the attainment of a certain grade point average. Not more than 12.5 percent of a senior class may be elected.

Omicron Delta Kappa - This national leadership society has three purposes: (1) to recognize persons who have attained a high standard of efficiency in college and collegiate activities, and to inspire others to strive for conspicuous attainment along similar lines; (2) to bring together the most representative men and women in all phases of collegiate life and thus to mold the sentiment of the institution on questions of local and intercollegiate interest; and (3) to bring together members of the faculty and student body on a basis of mutual interest and understanding.

Alpha Epsilon Delta - The Davidson chapter of this national honor pre-medical fraternity is North Carolina Alpha.

Delta Phi Alpha - A nationally organized honor fraternity that recognizes achievement in German. The society seeks to promote greater understanding of German life, culture, and language.

Eta Sigma Phi - An honor society founded at the University of Chicago in order to stimulate interest in the history, art, and literature of ancient Greece and Rome, and to promote closer relationships among students interested in classical study.

Gamma Sigma Epsilon - A national fraternity recognizing excellence in chemistry. The chapter at Davidson, founded in 1919, is the mother chapter.

Omicron Delta Epsilon - The economics honor society has as its objective the promotion of scholarly achievement in economics, fellowship among those in the profession, and understanding of key economic issues and problems.

Omicron Gamma Chapter of the Order of Omega - A national Greek Service and Leadership Honor Fraternity for men and women who are outstanding within their own organization. Annual initiation to the Order of Omega is open to the top three percent of the Greek population on campus. As a member in this organization students are charged with taking an active role in campus wide leadership and participation as a group in service activities.

Phi Beta Delta - An international honor society open to juniors, seniors, faculty, and staff. It recognizes exceptional achievement in international studies or service and promotion of international awareness.

Pi Delta Phi - The French Honor Society was founded at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1906.  The purpose of this oldest academic honor society for a modern foreign language in the U.S. is to recognize outstanding scholarship in the French language and its literatures and to increase the knowledge and appreciation of Americans for the cultural contributions of the French-speaking world.  Davidson College installed its chapter XI PI in 2010.

Pi Sigma Alpha - The national political science honor society recognizes academic achievement by students in the fields of political science, government, international and public affairs. The mission of the organization is to stimulate scholarship and interest in political science and to create outlets for civil dialogue and political engagement within our college and community.

Sigma Pi Sigma - The national Physics Honor Society. Founded in 1921, the chapter at Davidson is the mother chapter.

Academic and Community Awards

The Alain Locke/Anna Julia Cooper Award for Excellence in Africana Studies is given in honor of the first African American Rhodes Scholar and the first African American female activist and scholar to earn a PhD in History from the University of Paris, Sorbonne.  The award commemorates the distinguished lives and achievements of two outstanding figures whose works and legacies significantly impacted future discourses on race, gender, class, and sexuality in Africana Studies.  

Alumni Medal - For the freshman with the highest academic average; given by the Alumni Association.

Vereen Bell Memorial Award - For the student submitting the best piece of creative writing; given in memory of author Vereen M. Bell, Class of 1932.

Sandy Black Memorial Award - For the rising senior pre-medical student judged most outstanding in academic record and who gives promise of an outstanding contribution in the field of medicine: established by Mrs. Sam Orr Black in memory of her grandson, Sandy Black, Class of 1966.

Franz Boas Award in Anthropology - For the senior Anthropology major who best exemplifies the qualities of scholarship, intellectual curiosity, and ethical concern for all of humanity demonstrated by Franz Boas, the principal founder of modern American anthropology.

Botstein Breakthrough Education Award - This award is in recognition of Dr. Malcolm Campbell and for use in his teaching and research related to Genomics.

Bremer German Language Award - For excellence in the study of the German language; established by C. Christopher Bremer, M.D., Class of 1960.

Agnes Sentelle Brown Award - For a sophomore, junior, or senior, chosen for outstanding promise as indicated by character, personality, and academic ability; established by the late Dr. Mark Edgar Sentelle, Davidson Professor and Dean of Students, in memory of his sister.

William Scott Bryant Memorial Award - Established by family and friends to increase understanding of our national government by helping outstanding students participate in work and study programs in Washington, D.C.

James A. Chapman, Jr. Annual Award - For a promising student interested in a career in commerce. Established by the Textile Veterans Association in memory of a 1943 alumnus who was a leader in that industry.

Chinese Studies Award - This award honors a senior who has used advanced study of Chinese language to encounter, understand, and engage Chinese speakers with sincerity, and empathy

Tom Daggy Biology Award - Established in honor of Professor Daggy, who taught in the Department of Biology from 1947 to 1981, this award recognizes outstanding achievement, leadership and service, and a love of exploring the secrets of life.

Davidson Black Alumni Network Award - Established by Davidson alumni for students of African American descent who, through strength of character and commitment, have demonstrated distinguished service to college and community.

Department of the Army Superior Cadet Award - For the outstanding cadet in each year’s group of Military Studies students based on scholastic excellence and demonstrated leadership ability.

Alberta Smith DeVane Religion Award - To a senior Religion major whose overall excellence promises outstanding contributions in ministry, medicine, the study of religion, or other service; established by Mrs. Helen DeVane Carnegie in memory of her mother.

W.E.B. Du Bois Award - This award is presented for outstanding work in sociology.

Environmental Studies Outstanding Senior Award - 2014 is the inaugural year for this award, which goes to the Environmental Studies major(s) with the most impressive achievement in academic coursework, including the senior capstone project, and also recognizes environmental engagement outside the curriculum.

Eumenean Literary Society Award - For a member who best exemplifies the society’s motto: Pulchrum est colere mentem, “It is beautiful to cultivate the mind.”

Gladstone Memorial Award - For two rising seniors with high potential for future service to mankind as indicated by leadership, service, and academic record; established by family and friends of George L. Gladstone, Jr., Class of 1960.

Leona M. Goodell Memorial Award - Established by friends and family of this career government servant to help students explore careers in government.

Goodwin-Exxon Award - For a sophomore, a junior, and a senior judged to exemplify the highest standards of character, good sportsmanship, and consideration of others; established by Henry S. Goodwin, Class of 1930, and his wife Claire L. Goodwin and funded in part by the Exxon Education Foundation.

Greek Prize - Occasional award of books to a student with the greatest ability and promise in the study of Greek; presented by the Class of 1922.

R. Windley Hall Fund - A first-year student writing award which also provides for a visiting lecturer on campus; honors the memory of a member of the Class of 1963.

Rufus Hallmark Writing Award - Named after the distinguished musicologist Rufus Hallmark, Davidson class of 1965, this award recognizes the best essay on a musical topic written in the previous year.

William B. Hight, Jr. Teaching Award - Established by colleagues, alumni, and friends in memory of William B. Hight, founder and longtime chair of the Department of Education, to recognize an outstanding student in Educational Studies.

Douglas Houchens Studio Art Award - For the Studio Art major in the junior class who made the most progress during the previous year; honoring the professor who founded Davidson’s Art Department in 1953.

David Halbert Howard, Jr. Chemistry Award - For a rising senior studying chemistry who gives promise of the largest degree of usefulness in a related field of service; established by the mother and sister of David Howard, Class of 1928, who died while a chemistry professor at Davidson in 1936.

Lucile and Max Jackson Award in Art History - Established by Charlotte art lovers and friends of the college; presented annually to the rising senior who has demonstrated not only ability and aptitude, but dedication to the discipline of art history.

The Keiser Prize in English - Established in 2000 by Albert Keiser, Jr., Class of 1966  in honor of his father, Professor Albert Keiser, Ph.D.; recognizes superior contributions by one Davidson student each year to the performance of classical English literature.

John D. Kelton Award - Presented to the Psychology major who develops the best essay in the senior capstone course.

Kendrick Kelley Award in History - Awarded to the senior History major who best exemplifies the qualities displayed by Ken Kelley, Class of 1963, distinguished academic performance, self-effacing leadership and personal integrity. Established by family and friends in memory of Ken Kelley.

Latin American Studies Prize - The Latin American Studies Price, created in 2014, may be awarded annually at the discretion of the LAS faculty, to a senior major whose record combines dedication to Latin American/Latino Studies through college-level experiences and rigorous coursework.

Le Prix de Français (The French and Francophone Studies Award) - Established in 1991, the French Award was created to honor outstanding achievement in French studies and/or exceptional contributions to the Davidson French program by a senior major.

Henry T. Lilly Award for Excellence in English - Established in 1993 and given in memory of Henry T. Lilly, Class of 1918, Professor of English from 1926-1966.

Charles E. Lloyd Award - For the student submitting the best piece of nonfiction writing; established in memory of English professor (1956-80) Charles E. Lloyd.

Judge Boyce F. Martin, Jr., Award For Leadership - Established by Judge Boyce F. Martin, Jr, Class of 1957, to honor his wives, the late Mavin Brown Martin and Anne Brewer Ogden, this fund provides awards for the support of internships, fellowships, study abroad, and leadership development opportunities for rising juniors or seniors, preferably women, who have demonstrated outstanding leadership during their Davidson careers.

William G. McGavock Mathematics Award - For the member of the senior class who has demonstrated the greatest promise and accomplishment in mathematics while at Davidson; honors the memory of W. G. McGavock, Class of 1930, and longtime professor of mathematics.

Sally G. McMillen Prize in Gender & Sexuality Studies - The prize honors the pioneering contributions of Dr. Sally McMillen, the first gender and women’s historian at Davidson College, the first woman to be tenured in and serve as chair of the Department of History, and one of the founders of the college’s Gender Studies Interdisciplinary Minor and GSS major program. The prize is funded through the generosity of Sally and Bruce McMillen. The prize will be awarded to a senior student who has demonstrated academic excellence, intellectual curiosity, and humane instincts, and has produced exceptional work in the field of gender and sexuality studies.

Mundo Hispanico (The Hispanic Studies Award) - Established by the Spanish Department to recognize excellence in the study of the Spanish language and Hispanic culture.

Phifer Economics Award - For an upper-class student who has made a distinguished record in the study of economics; established by Mrs. A.K. Phifer.

Physics Award - Established by alumni and friends to honor outstanding achievement in the study of physics.

W. Kendrick Pritchett Award in Classics - Presented to a senior Classics major who exemplifies the qualities displayed by W. Kendrick Pritchett, Class of 1929: distinguished academic performance, personal integrity, and love of ancient literature, history, and archaeology.

Harris Proctor Award - Established through gifts from colleagues to honor Professor Emeritus J. Harris Proctor. The award is presented annually to the outstanding senior Political Science major.

Charles Malone Richards Award - For a rising senior, ordinarily preparing for the ministry, who has made the most significant contribution to the religious life of the college community; established by family and friends of Dr. Richards, Class of 1892, and Davidson pastor and professor.

Richard Ross Memorial Music Award - This award, recognizing a senior Music major, honors Richard Ross who, in his lifetime, was an internationally celebrated organ recitalist, a gifted teacher, and a dedicated Presbyterian Church musician.

Dean Rusk Program Award - For the student who has contributed most to international studies at Davidson.

C. Shaw Smith Award - Presented annually to a rising junior or senior who has made outstanding contributions to the life of the college community through service at the College Union; honors C. Shaw Smith, Class of 1939, and College Union Director from 1952-1983.

Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award - Two medallions presented annually, one to a member of the senior class and the other to a person outside the student body, recognizing fine spiritual qualities practically applied to daily living, usually going to persons who have given unselfish service without due recognition; established in 1926 by the New York Southern Society in memory of its founder.

Theatre Award - For the senior who has contributed most to further theatre at Davidson College during four years on campus.

Rawley P. Turner Drama Award - Presented to the student who, in the opinion of a committee made up of faculty and community theatre-goers, has given the best performance in a major drama production for the year.

Porter P. Vinson Chemistry Award - For a rising junior, recognizing unusual mastery of the field and significant promise for further study; established by family in memory of Porter Paisley Vinson, M.D., Class of 1909, Davidson M.A. in Chemistry 1910.

William D. Vinson Mathematics Award - For a rising junior, recognizing unusual mastery of the field and significant promise for further study; established by family in memory of Davidson mathematics professor (1883-97) William Daniel Vinson, LL.D.

Wilmer Hayden Welsh Prize in Composition - Awarded for the best original music composition by a Davidson student.  Established in 2006 in honor of Wilmer Hayden Welsh, Composer and Professor of Music from 1963-1991.

Daniel Blaine Woods Award - For the rising senior pre-medical student who best exhibits the qualities of a good doctor: wisdom, compassion, the desire to serve, the ability to analyze problems, integrity, and academic excellence; established by Dr. James B. Woods, Jr., Class of 1918, and his wife in memory of their son.

James Baker Woods III Memorial Award - For a rising senior military science cadet who has displayed outstanding qualities of leadership, moral character, academic achievement, and aptitude for military service; established by Dr. James B. Woods, Jr., Class of 1918, and his wife in memory of their son, Class of 1962, who gave his life in defense of his country.

William Gatewood Workman Psychology Award - For the senior judged to have come closest to attaining Dr. Workman’s extraordinary standards of scholarship, character and service; established in honor of this longtime professor of psychology by psychology faculty and alumni.


Athletic Honor Awards

Helen DeVane Carnegie Award - Presented to the most outstanding freshman athlete.

The David Parrott Sportsmanship Award - The David Parrott Sportsmanship Award recognizes Davidson College students for their outstanding commitment to the development of strong moral character through athletic participation and leadership.

Tommy Peters Memorial Award - Presented to a male athlete with outstanding dedication and contribution to intercollegiate athletics.

Susan K. Roberts Award - Presented to a woman athlete best exemplifying the Davidson spirit in intercollegiate athletics and campus leadership.

Rebecca E. Stimson Award - Presented to a woman athlete in recognition of outstanding dedication and contribution to intercollegiate athletics.