Awards For Seniors

*Students are encouraged to take a look at our new award.  The Reverend Beverly A. Asbury Award for Interfaith Dialogue is now being offered and will be celebrated at the Magnolia Awards Ceremony on April 2nd.

The following awards are presented to senior students who demonstrated leadership and service at Vanderbilt.  Students who meet the criteria are encouraged to read these descriptions and apply for these awards.

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 only seniors.
  • Students must have an accompanying recommendation from Vanderbilt faculty or staff. (form attached)
  • 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 a ward 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

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, Dr. 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 Descriptions of these awards are as follows:

John T. McGill Award (1 McGill Resident/Project Member)
Established in 1960 by Lizzie Allen McGill, this award is presented in memory of her husband, John T. McGill.  A $2000.00 check is presented each spring to the resident of McGill Hall who actively participates in the McGill Project and “who has established qualities of leadership, as well as being a good student of gentle bearing.” The recipient of the award is academically accomplished, exhibits respect for others, and has proven leadership ability.

The John T. and Lizzie Allen Upper-class McGill Award
(Two Upper-class Students, one of which is a participant in a Living Learning Community other than McGill Project)

Established in 1994, this award is given to two upper-class students “who are academically accomplished, have demonstrated qualities of leadership, and whose efforts have led to an increased understanding of other student’s needs and a more civil campus atmosphere.” These awards are based on academic accomplishment, strong character and demonstrated leadership ability.  The two upper-class student recipients receive a $1500.00 check per recipient.

Muliebrity Prize
The Muliebrity Prize 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. Nominations are due by Feb. 14, 2014.  The award will be given at the annual Magnolia Awards Recognition Ceremony coordinated by Student Leadership Development, where the honoree will be presented with a certificate and small cash award.  Any questions, please contact Kayce Matthews, Associate Director of the Women’s Center, at or (615) 322-4843.

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. The winner of this award will receive $500.00 in recognition of their outstanding work. 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 mike.zimmerman@Vanderbilt.Edu

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 $500 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. A $500 check 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. The winner of  this award receives a $500 check from the sponsoring organizations.  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. The recipient is presented with a small gift and a cash prize of $250.  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

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. The recipients will each receive a $250 honorarium.  Questions regarding the award may be directed to

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