Students, Faculty and Staff are encouraged to read through these awards to learn about the kinds of student leadership and service that are being recognized.

Award Description

Accolade: The Chancellor’s Diversity Award

Accolade recognizes a rising senior whose academic achievement and participation in extracurricular activities contribute to the diversification of the Vanderbilt student body. Applicants must be enrolled as a full-time student and be scheduled to graduate May of 2016. Questions regarding the award may be directed to

Casey Carter Bonar Award

This award was established in 2010 to honor the memory of Casey Carter Bonar.  Based on the legacy of extraordinary leadership she left behind, this award is presented annually to a Vanderbilt undergraduate student who embodies the unique qualities that Casey brought to the university – leadership, broad collaboration, enthusiasm, passion for campus involvement, selfless service to Vanderbilt, and, always, dedication to positive change.  The student who most exemplifies the sparkling point of light that was Casey Carter Bonar will be selected as award recipient by the Dean of Students senior staff. Qualifications for this award are as follows:

  • The award is open to seniors only.
  • Students must have an accompanying recommendation from Vanderbilt faculty or staff. (Faculty and staff can click here to complete reference forms)
  • A person may nominate himself or herself for the award.

The award carries a monetary stipend in addition to an engraved julep cup to commemorate selection.  This award will be presented annually in the spring as part of the Magnolia Awards program. If you have any questions or would like more information about this award, you may contact

Glenn & Elizabeth Bogitsh Award

Established in 1989 in memory of Glenn Carlisle (B.S. ’77) and Elizabeth Norris Bogitsh (B.S. ’82), this award recognizes high standards in physical fitness, participation in recreational sports, and sportsmanship. It is awarded each year to a Vanderbilt undergraduate or graduate student who demonstrates a strong commitment to campus recreational programs and by example and leadership has inspired participation and sportsmanlike conduct in these activities. A trophy is presented to the recipient and his/her name is engraved on a plaque in the Student Recreation Center.  Questions regarding the award may be directed to

Imani Award: The Rev. James Lawson Award for Campus and Community Leadership

The Imani Award honors the Rev. James Lawson, who served as a faithful and determined leader in the African-American community during the Civil Rights Movement and is still very active today, including teaching here at Vanderbilt. Imani is the Swahili word for “Faith.” Funded by the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center, this award recognizes a graduating senior who has continuously been an integral part of campus life and has demonstrated an outstanding capacity for leadership and devotion to Vanderbilt. The winning senior receives a monetary award and a plaque. The award will be given at the Magnolia Awards ceremony on Monday, April 13, 2015.  Questions regarding the award may be directed to or

McGill Awards

These awards are presented through the generosity of the McGill family in honor of Dr. John T. and Lizzie Allen McGill who provided students with an atmosphere of hospitality and guidance through their years at Vanderbilt. A graduate of Vanderbilt in 1879, John McGill spent his life in service to Vanderbilt. He served as professor emeritus of chemistry, Dean of the School of Pharmacy and finally a historian of the University. Questions regarding all McGill Awards may be directed to

The John T. & Lizzie Allen McGill First Year Award (Two First Year Students)

Established in 1994, these awards are given to two academically accomplished first year students of gentle bearing and strong character who have shown kindness and respect for all others and who have established qualities of leadership. Award winners have demonstrated academic accomplishment and leadership in creating a more welcoming campus for all.

John T. McGill Award (1 McGill Residential Project Member)

Established in 1960 by Lizzie Allen McGill, this award is presented in memory of her husband, John T. McGill. This award is presented to a McGill Hall resident who has established qualities of leadership, as well as being a good student of gentle bearing. Award winners have actively participated in the McGill Project, achieved academically, and demonstrated leadership in creating a more welcoming campus for all.

The John T. and Lizzie Allen Upper-class McGill Award (A student from either McTyeire or Mayfield)

Established in 1994, this award is given to an upper-class student of strong character for academic accomplishment and leadership in creating open and honest dialogue about complex and controversial issues. The award winner’s efforts have led to an increased understanding of other students’ needs and a more civil campus.

The John T. and Lizzie Allen Upper-class McGill Award (Any upper-class student)

Established in 1994, this award is given to an upper-class student for academic accomplishment and leadership in creating open and honest dialogue about complex and controversial issues. The award winner’s efforts have led to an increased understanding of other students’ needs and a more civil campus.

The Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center Leadership Award (formerly the “Muliebrity Prize”)

The Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center Leadership Award honors an undergraduate or graduate student(s) who demonstrates leadership in activities that contribute to the achievements, interests, and goals of women or that promote gender equity.  Nominations may be made by faculty, staff, and/or advisors; students may also nominate themselves or their peers.  The award will be given at the annual Magnolia Awards Dinner coordinated by the Student Leadership Development Office, where the honoree will be presented with a certificate and small cash award.  Questions about this award may directed to

Nora C. Chaffin Scholarship

The Nora C. Chaffin Scholarship was established in 1956 by the Women’s Student Government Association in appreciation of the former Dean of Women’s twenty years service to Vanderbilt women students.

The scholarship is awarded to a current junior who has “displayed service to the University in areas of student government, religious, literary and scholastic activities in the arts.”  Financial need is a consideration but not a requirement. Questions regarding the award may be directed to

Outstanding International Student Organization

This award is given annually to a deserving internationally-focused student organization for recognition of its efforts in advancing intercultural understanding and exemplary work in the following areas:

Organizing events that have a distinct cultural focus and educational goal

  1. Engaging the Vanderbilt community in activities to promote greater intercultural understanding
  2. Demonstrating a supportive and collaborative spirit within the international and Vanderbilt community

NOTE: Must be a registered student organization with an international focus to be eligible. Questions regarding this award may be directed to

Reverend Beverly A. Asbury Award for Interfaith Dialogue

Reverend Beverly A. Asbury is an outstanding person who served Vanderbilt University with honor and distinction for nearly 30 years as chaplain, Director of Religious Affairs and as an adjunct professor at the university’s Divinity School. In addition to his involvement in civil rights since his youth, Rev. Asbury brought to Vanderbilt a sense of life, commitment and tolerance that changed the culture on campus forever. Reverend Asbury has also contributed his knowledge and expertise as a founder of the Vanderbilt Holocaust Lectures, Vanderbilt Martin Luther King, Jr. Series, the Vanderbilt Holocaust Art Collection, and Project Dialogue. Working with students of different faiths, traditions and races, Rev. Asbury would build All Faith Chapel to give a space for diverse and welcoming worship on campus. A true humanitarian and bridge builder, Rev. Asbury brought together students, staff, faculty, and the community in conversation when it was needed most.

Undergraduate students whom exhibit the mindset of Rev. Asbury in work towards interfaith dialogue are encouraged to apply for the Rev. Beverly Asbury Award for Interfaith Dialogue. Members of the Vanderbilt Community are also encouraged to nominate candidates whom they believe would be praiseworthy in this category as well.  Questions?  Please contact Mike Zimmerman at

Ripple In The Pond Award

In April 2001, the actions of two friends saved the life of Meredith Strong (’03) who had contracted a severe case of Bacterial Meningitis. This award honors those women who enhanced the character of their community by reaching out to help another in need. This award is available to any Vanderbilt undergraduate student or group of students whose act or acts create connections, or “ripples” which acknowledge our humanity, and thereby advance our community, one-to-one, group-to-group. Questions regarding the award may be directed to

Rob Roy Purdy Award

Established in 1979 to honor the Senior Vice-Chancellor Emeritus, an engraved cup is presented annually to an upper-class student selected by the Dean of Students staff for demonstrating through leadership the qualities of humaneness, dedication, loyalty, and unselfish service to Vanderbilt University exemplified by Rob Roy Purdy.  Questions regarding the nomination may be directed to f.clark.williams@vanderbilt.Edu

Robert Peter Pratt Memorial Award

The Robert Peter Pratt Memorial Award was established at  Vanderbilt University in 1991 to honor Robert Peter Pratt (1954-1991),  associate director of Undergraduate Admissions and long time leader in  promoting diversity within the student population. This award is presented to the Chancellor’s Scholar of junior or senior standing  whose accomplishments best exemplify Robert Peter Pratt’s commitment to  diversity and unity, leadership and cooperation, warmth and openness,  and unselfish service to others.  Questions regarding the award may be directed to

Susan Jung Award

This award is given by the Asian American Student Association (AASA) and Masala SACE (South Asian Cultural Exchange) to honor an undergraduate junior or senior in the Asian American Community who has shown outstanding commitment and passion to Vanderbilt through cultural and/or political education. The award honors those who exemplify the vision of Susan Jung ’88, who founded AASA upon the principle of unity through diversity in the fall of 1986.  Questions regarding the award may be directed to

Thomas M. Weser Award

This award was established in 1989 in memory of Thomas M. Weser, a German exchange student who was killed while attending Vanderbilt. Each year, the Weser Award recognizes an international student who has demonstrated an unusually strong commitment to intellectual life, cross-cultural appreciation, and personal integrity.

Non-Vanderbilt community recommendations should be emailed to with the subject line THOMAS WESER Recommendation and then the person’s name who is being recommended in the text of the email. Questions regarding the award may be directed to

The Walther Award for Vucept Excellence

The Walther Award for VUcept Excellence (WAVE) was established in 2014 to recognize the hard work, dedication, and influence of Student VUceptors serving as undergraduate peer mentors in the programmatic initiatives of The Ingram Commons and College Halls.  The WAVE award is presented annually to up to five Vanderbilt undergraduate students, who have served at least one semester in the VUcept organization.  Students can choose to apply for the award using one of the four categories listed below.

  • Diversity Awareness – for commitment to furthering diverse perspectives among students in transition
  • Creativity – for commitment to innovative and effective approaches to student peer mentorship
  • Student Success – for commitment to providing appropriate guidance and resources to students in transition in order that they may achieve academic success and personal well-being
  • Faculty Engagement – for commitment to modeling engagement with faculty inside and outside of the classroom

All students who, at the time of application, have completed their first year or their third year (lifers) as VUceptors will be automatically considered for two specific awards (listed below). These applicants must complete one additional essay question.

  • Lifer Award – Students serving in the VUcept organization for three years who demonstrate excellence in the role will be eligible for this award
  • New VUceptor Award – Students completing their first semester in the organization who make a compelling argument about what they have learned are eligible for this award

Questions regarding all WAVE Awards may be directed to

William Aaron Pathfinder Award

This award acknowledges juniors or seniors whose uncommon community service efforts and leadership skills demonstrate vision, creativity, and innovation. Named in recognition of William Aaron (Class of ’89), whose own path finding led to the creation of the Office of Volunteer Activities–now the Office of Active Citizenship and Service–this award also celebrates Vanderbilt University’s extraordinary history of service to the community.  Questions regarding the award may be directed to

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