May graduates, regardless of participation in the ceremony are eligible for awards at commencement. October and December graduates, regardless of when or if they participate in a commencement ceremony, are eligible for awards in the May following completion of their degree requirements. In order to be eligible for any award at the college the student must be in good standing with regard to citizenship, as determined by the Student Development Office, and academically, as determined by the Office of the Academic Affairs Coordinator.
Students graduate cum laude, magna cum laude or summa cum laude according to the following minimum requirements:
- cum laude: cumulative grade point average of 3.50 to 3.64 at the time of graduation
- magna cum laude: cumulative grade point average of 3.65 to 3.79 at the time of graduation
- summa cum laude: cumulative grade point average of 3.80 or higher at the time of graduation
At the end of the fall and spring terms, the college publicly recognizes those undergraduate students who have distinguished themselves through their superior academic achievement by placing their names on the Dean’s List. To qualify, students must achieve a grade point average of 3.50 or better while carrying a minimum of twelve credits in graded courses. Courses graded pass/fail may not be included as part of the twelve credits. Full-time nursing students enrolled in NUR clinical courses may also be considered for the Dean’s List.
Alpha Chi Award
This award is given to a graduating Alpha Chi student who, in the opinion of the members of Alpha Chi, best exemplifies the ideals of the society – truth and character – through work at the college in support of chapter activities.
Athletic Academic Honor Roll
In the fall of 2002, the Athletic Department instituted the Athletic Academic Honor Roll in which each semester the director of athletics and the faculty athletics representative publicly recognize student-athletes who have earned a 3.00 GPA or higher for a semester.
Baccalaureate awards are presented to the graduating students in each baccalaureate program who are selected by the faculty for their interest in and excellence within the major. Recipients must be full-time students and be eligible to participate in the Commencement ceremony. Some of the baccalaureate awards are named awards: the Dr. Margaret “Marnie” Kurtz Award is given to a student whose major is business administration; the Carl M. Cochran Award is given to a student whose major is English; and the Grace Adella Sheldon Graves Award is given to a student whose major is nursing.
Capstone Experience Awards
The capstone experience differs from major to major, but its purpose is to ensure that all seniors demonstrate their accumulated knowledge through action and effectively communicate their knowledge and actions to others in an interdisciplinary setting.
Class Academic Awards
Awards are given by the college each spring to the rising sophomore, junior and senior who rank highest in scholarship in the appropriate class. The recipients must be full-time students at Colby-Sawyer College and have completed at least fifty percent of their credits at Colby-Sawyer.
Richard Crosby Memorial Award
This award, established in 1976 in honor of faculty member Richard Crosby, a member of the English Department from 1952 to 1976, may be awarded annually to a student for excellence in British literature.
Gula Graves Plummer Award
This award is given to the student or students who have distinguished themselves through the exercise of spiritual and/or moral leadership in the college community or through academic work informed by their religious commitments.
Wynne Jesser McGrew Senior Scholar-Athlete Awards
The Wynne Jesser McGrew Senior Scholar-Athlete Award may be given to the graduating female senior who, in the opinion of the Athletic Advisory Council, has made significant contributions to both the scholastic and varsity programs of the college. The Senior Scholar-Athlete Award may be given to the graduating male senior who, in the opinion of the Athletic Advisory Council, has made significant contributions to both the scholastic and varsity programs of the college.
James Duane Squires Book Award
The James Duane Squires Book Award was established in December 1996 to honor former Colby-Sawyer College faculty member James Duane Squires. Professor Squires was a faculty member from 1933 to 1970 and served as chair of the Social Sciences Department for all but two of those years. He also served as director of public affairs for many years. This award is presented by the Academic Vice President and Dean of Faculty based upon recommendations made by faculty members. The goal of the award is to recognize and honor students’ specific academic performances above and beyond expectations.
Guy Floyd Williams Award
This award may be presented to a graduating senior majoring in science who has helped to maintain and perpetuate the ideals of the college during the student’s years at Colby-Sawyer College and who, through appropriate conduct, scholarship and decorum, has exemplified the spirit of the college.
David H. Winton Baccalaureate Award
This award is named in honor of a longtime trustee, chair of the board and benefactor of Colby-Sawyer College. Each year it is presented at Commencement to the graduating baccalaureate student who ranks highest in scholarship in his or her class. The recipient must be a full-time student at Colby-Sawyer College.
Established by Dr. H. Leslie Sawyer in 1934, the Colby-Sawyer Award honors a member of the graduating class who, in the opinion of the faculty, best exemplifies the ideals of the college in personal dignity, intellectual growth, contribution to campus life and constructive influence upon other students.
Established by Mrs. J. Thaddeus Hildreth, mother of Elizabeth Hildreth Cameron ’33 and grandmother of Judeen Cameron Barwood ’58, ’09, this award is presented to a member of the senior class whose character and influence most constructively affected the majority of the junior class. This award is chosen by nominations from the junior class.
Ann Gulick Award
Established in memory of Ann Gulick, the Class of 1954, by her classmates, this award is presented to the sophomore student who best exemplifies, through voluntary service, the qualities of reliability, loyalty and unselfishness. The recipient of this award is chosen by nominations of the sophomore class and selected by the vice president for student development and dean of students.
Senior Achievement Award
The Senior Achievement award is presented to a senior student who has distinguished themselves through active leadership involvement in the co-curricular life of the college.
Barbara Johnson Stearns Award
Established in honor of a member of the Class of 1932, this award honors a member of the senior class, who has demonstrated exemplary leadership and dedication to the college community.
Student Commencement Speaker
Seniors, faculty and staff nominate students to give the Student Commencement Address. A selection committee reviews drafts of speeches submitted by the nominated students. A medallion is presented to the senior who represents the character of the graduating class and will give an inspirational and engaging speech that represents the college’s values and learning outcomes.