Columbia College

Academic Prizes

General Academic Prizes

ALBERT ASHER GREEN MEMORIAL PRIZE

(1913) Awarded to the senior who has been a student in good standing in the College for at least three years and who has made the best record of scholarship. Established by Mr. and Mrs. Asher Green in memory of their son, Albert Asher Green, Class of 1914.

DAVID B. TRUMAN ALUMNI AWARD

(1970) A lion trophy donated annually by the Alumni Association to the Columbia College student who has made the most distinguished contribution to the academic affairs of the College. Established in honor of David B. Truman, former Dean of the College.

Prizes in the Core Curriculum

JOSHUA A. FEIGENBAUM PRIZE IN LITERATURE HUMANITIES

(2004) Established by Joshua Feigenbaum and awarded to a student who is judged by the faculty to have exhibited excellence in Literature Humanities.

WALLACE A. GRAY PRIZE IN LITERATURE HUMANITIES

(2004) Established in memory of the late Professor Wallace Gray and awarded annually to the Columbia College undergraduate who is judged by the faculty to have written the best essay in Literature Humanities.

DEAN HAWKES MEMORIAL PRIZE

(1943) Awarded annually to the member of the junior class who is judged to be the most deserving on the basis of work in the humanities. Established by a committee of the Class of 1943 in memory of Dean Herbert E. Hawkes.

JONATHAN THRONE KOPIT PRIZE IN LOGIC AND RHETORIC

(1997) Established by Mrs. Ina Cohen in memory of her husband, Jonathan Throne Kopit, who was a member of the Class of 1968.

JAMES P. SHENTON PRIZE IN CONTEMPORARY CIVILIZATION

(2004) Awarded annually to the Columbia College undergraduate who is judged by the faculty to have written the best essay in Contemporary Civilization. Established by the Committee on the Core and the Office of the Dean of the College in memory of Professor James P. Shenton, Class of 1949 and GSAS 1955.

Prizes in the Humanities

SENIOR THESIS PRIZE IN ART HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY

(2002) Established as a gift from Philip E. Aarons, CC’73 and Law ‘76, in recognition of an outstanding senior thesis by a major in the Department of Art History and Archaeology.

CHARLES PATERNO BARRATT-BROWN MEMORIAL PRIZE

(2000) Awarded to a Columbia College senior who is judged by the English Department to have excelled in critical writing in any scholarly field. Established by his parents and his sister in honor of Charles, who graduated from the College in 1983.

DINO BIGONGIARI PRIZE

(1954) Established by the former students and friends of Professor Dino Bigongiari, awarded annually to the senior who has written an outstanding essay on Italian civilization or whose work in the regular Italian courses is judged most worthy of distinction.

CARL B. BOYER MEMORIAL PRIZE

(1978) Awarded annually to the Columbia undergraduate who writes the best essay on any topic in the history of science or mathematics as judged by a faculty committee. Established by Mrs. Carl B. Boyer in memory of her husband.

BUNNER PRIZE

(1896) Awarded to the candidate for a degree in Columbia University who has submitted the best essay on a topic dealing with American literature. The topic to be selected in connection with course or seminar work in American literature and approved by the chairman of the Bunner Prize Committee. Established by friends of the late Henry Cuyler Bunner.

DOUGLAS GARDNER CAVERLY PRIZE

(1994) Established in memory of Douglas Gardner Caverly, Class of 1968, by his family and friends, and awarded for outstanding performance by a graduating major in Classics.

DEUTSCHER VEREIN PRIZE IN GERMAN

(1917) Awarded annually to the junior or senior who submits the winning essay on a prescribed topic in German literature.

EARLE PRIZE IN CLASSICS

(1907) Awarded for excellence in sight translation of passages of Greek and Latin. Only candidates for the degree of Bachelor of Arts may compete. Established in memory of Mortimer Lamson Earle, Class of 1886, lecturer and professor in the Department of Classics.

JOHN VINCENT HICKEY PRIZE

(2004) Awarded annually to the Columbia College undergraduate who is judged by the Department of English and Comparative Literature to have submitted the best essay on Irish, English, or American poetry. Established by Dr. Helene J.F. de Aguilar in honor of her brother.

ADAM LEROY JONES PRIZE IN LOGIC

(1934) Awarded to a student in the College for the best essay on any topic in the philosophy of science or in the foundation of logic. It may be either a topic connected with seminar work in the Department of Philosophy or one approved by the Jones Prize Committee. Established by Mrs. Adam Leroy Jones in memory of her husband, who was Associate Professor of Philosophy and Director of University Admissions, 1909–1934.

HELEN AND HOWARD R. MARRARO PRIZE

(1972) Awarded to an undergraduate of high academic distinction and promise in an area of study concerned with Italian culture, including art, music, comparative literature, history, economics, government, or in any other academic discipline. Established in honor of Professor Howard R. Marraro.

PETER M. RICCIO PRIZE

(1992) Awarded to a student who is not a native speaker of Italian but who has an excellent record in the study of some aspect of Italian culture. Established in memory of Peter M. Riccio, student and Professor in the College and the University and Director of the Casa Italiana from 1957 to 1966.

BENJAMIN F. ROMAINE PRIZE FUND

(1922) Gift of Benjamin F. Romaine to provide an annual prize for proficiency in Greek language and literature.

SUSAN HUNTINGTON VERNON PRIZE

(1941) Established by a member of the noted family of Hispanophiles to encourage young women in humanistic pursuits at the college level. Currently offered by the Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures and the Hispanic Institute of Columbia University to the Columbia College senior who has most demonstrated excellence in the study of Spanish language and Spanish and Latin American literatures and cultures.

Prizes in the Social Sciences

CHARLES A. BEARD PRIZE

(1963) Awarded to the student who writes the best paper in political science during the academic year. Established by the Honorable Albert Levitt.

CHARLES A. BEARD PRIZE

(2003) Established by the History Department for a senior thesis of superior distinction in any historical field and period.

CHANLER HISTORICAL PRIZE

(1877) Awarded to the senior who submits the best essay on a topic dealing with the history of civil government in America. The topic to be selected in conjunction with seminar work in one of the social science departments and approved by the chairperson of the Chanler Prize Committee. Established by the bequest of J. Winthrop Chanler of the Class of 1847.

TARAKNATH DAS FOUNDATION AWARD

(1957) Awarded annually to a student in Columbia College, the School of General Studies, or Barnard College for excellence in Asian studies, particularly in the history and culture of India.

ALBERT MARION ELSBERG PRIZE

(1912) Awarded to a student with sophomore, junior, or senior standing who has demonstrated excellence in modern history. Established by Mrs. Albert Elsberg in memory of her son, Albert Marion Elsberg.

LILY PRIZE IN HISTORY

Awarded by the History Department for academic achievement in the study of history other than that of the United States. Established by Professor James P. Shenton, Columbia College Class of 1949 and GSAS Class of 1955, in honor of his mother.

GARRETT MATTINGLY PRIZE

(2003) Established by the History Department for a senior thesis of superior distinction in any historical field and period.

SANFORD S. PARKER PRIZE

(1980) Awarded to a Columbia College senior going on to graduate study in economics who shows promise of doing original work and has already demonstrated boldness of thought and a commitment to excellence, whose interests are wide, heart kind, and spirit generous. Funded by the family and friends in memory of Sanford S. Parker, Class of 1937.

ROMINE PRIZE

(1996) Awarded to two undergraduate students who have done exemplary work in the field of economics. Established by John Romine in honor of his brother, David Estabrook Romine.

CAROLINE PHELPS STOKES PRIZE

(1910) Awarded to a student who has been a degree candidate for at least one academic year at Columbia College or Barnard College, and who has written the best essay on any topic concerning the rights of man. The topic to be selected in connection with course or seminar work and approved by the Stokes Prize Committee. Established by the bequest of Caroline Phelps Stokes.

ALAN J. WILLEN MEMORIAL PRIZE

(1968) Awarded to the Columbia College student who writes the best seminar paper on a contemporary American political problem. The selection is made jointly by representatives of the Departments of History and Political Science. Established by classmates and friends of Alan J. Willen, Class of 1964, in his memory.

Prizes in the Natural and Physical Sciences

RICHARD BERSOHN PRIZE

(2009) Established by Professor Louis Brus, who was a student of Professor Bersohn, this prize may be awarded to the Columbia College, General Studies, or SEAS student majoring in the chemical sciences who is deemed by the faculty to have demonstrated outstanding achievement as a scholar and as a researcher.

COMPUTER SCIENCE DEPARTMENT AWARD

Awarded to a degree candidate for scholastic achievements as a computer science major and as acknowledgment of his or her contributions to the Department of Computer Science and to the University as a whole.

THOMAS J. KATZ PRIZE

(2009) Established by friends and colleagues of Professor Katz, this prize may be awarded to the Columbia College, General Studies, or SEAS student majoring in the chemical sciences who is deemed by the faculty to have demonstrated outstanding achievement as a scholar and as a researcher.

THE BRIDGES AND STURTEVANT PRIZE IN BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES

(2012) Established in honor Calvin Bridges and Alfred Sturtevant whose pioneering studies as Columbia College undergraduates—using the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster in Thomas Hunt Morgan's laboratory—laid the basis for our understanding of genes and the way they behave. The prize may be awarded annually to a graduating senior whose experimental or computational research is deemed by the faculty to have been both highly original and fruitful.

RUSSELL C. MILLS AWARD

(1992) Established in memory of Russell C. Mills, a Ph.D. candidate in Computer Science who exemplified academic excellence and intellectual curiosity, and presented annually to the senior in Computer Science whose course work and projects stand out as the best in the class.

ALFRED MORITZ MICHAELIS PRIZE

(1926) Awarded to the member of the graduating class who has completed with the most proficiency the sequence of courses in physics that corresponds most nearly to the sequence given by the late Professor George V. Wendell. Established by Mrs. Jeanette Michaelis in memory of her son, Alfred Moritz Michaelis, Class of 1920.

PROFESSOR VAN AMRINGE MATHEMATICAL PRIZE

(1910) Awarded to three College students (a first-year, a sophomore, and a junior) who are deemed most proficient in the mathematical subjects designated during the year of the award. Established by George G. DeWitt, Class of 1867.

JOHN DASH VAN BUREN JR. PRIZE IN MATHEMATICS

(1906) Awarded to the degree candidate who writes the best examination on subjects prescribed by the Department of Mathematics. Established by Mrs. Louise T. Hoyt in memory of her nephew, John Dash Van Buren Jr., Class of 1905.

Prizes in the Creative and Performing Arts

ACADEMY OF AMERICAN POETS POETRY PRIZE

(1956) Given by the Academy to the poet who has written the best poem or group of poems submitted during the academic year. Manuscripts should normally be submitted to the Department of English and Comparative Literature before April 1.

SEYMOUR BRICK MEMORIAL PRIZE

(1969) Awarded to the Columbia College student who submits the best one-act or full-length play as judged by the Department of English and Comparative Literature. Established by Mrs. Seymour Brick and her son, Richard, in honor of their husband and father, who was a member of the Class of 1934.

KAREN OSNEY BROWNSTEIN WRITING PRIZE

(1991) Awarded to a graduating senior in Columbia College who has written a single piece or a body of work so distinguished in its originality of concept and excellence of execution that it fairly demands the award, support, and recognition the prize intends. Established by Neill H. Brownstein, Class of 1966, in memory of Karen Osney Brownstein.

GEORGE WILLIAM CURTIS PRIZE

(1902) Awarded to students in the College for excellence in the public delivery of English orations. Established by the late Samuel Putnam Avery, Class of 1896, an associate of George William Curtis.

ARTHUR E. FORD POETRY PRIZE

(1980) Awarded annually to the senior who submits the best collection of poems. Established by Mrs. Doris Ford in memory of Arthur E. Ford.

PHILOLEXIAN CENTENNIAL WASHINGTON PRIZE

(1902) Awarded once every four years to the student in the college who shall be deemed most worthy, upon delivery of an original address on a subject concerning public affairs. Gift of J. Ackerman Coles, Class of 1864.

PHILOLEXIAN PRIZE FUND

(1904) A gift of the Philolexian Society, the income from which shall be used for prizes in Columbia College for debating, essays, short stories, and poetry.

AUSTIN E. QUIGLEY PRIZE

(2010) The Austin E. Quigley prize for outstanding artistic and intellectual achievement may be awarded to a Columbia College senior majoring in Drama and Theatre Arts. Named in honor of Columbia College's dean from 1995-2009, the prize is funded by Nobel Laureate Richard Axel, Columbia College Class of 1967 and University Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics

THE LOUIS SUDLER PRIZE IN THE ARTS

(1983) Awarded annually to a senior who, in the opinion of the Faculty, has demonstrated excellence of the highest standards of proficiency in performance or execution or in the field of composition in one of the following general areas of performing and creative arts: music, theatre, painting, sculpture, design, architecture, or film.

VAN RENSSELAER PRIZE

(1926) Given to the candidate for a degree in Columbia University who is the author of the best example of English lyric verse. Material must be submitted to the Department of English and Comparative Literature by April 1. Gift of Maximilian Foster.

GEORGE EDWARD WOODBERRY PRIZE

(1935) Awarded every second year to an undergraduate student in Columbia University for the best original poem. Established by the Woodberry Society of New York.