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Individual Awards

Applying for an Individual Award

Congratulations to our 2020 Individual Award winners!

Individual awards honor students who have demonstrated leadership and community service in various areas at Vanderbilt. Each award is accompanied by a stipend, as well as a trophy to commemorate the award. If you have not set-up direct deposit, please login to your YES account to sign-up. Note that any outstanding charges on your student account will be automatically deducted from your total stipend award amount.

Individual Award Descriptions

Accolade: The Chancellor’s Diversity Award

The Accolade Award recognizes a rising senior whose academic achievement and participation in extracurricular activities have contributed to the diversification of the Vanderbilt student body. Applicants must be enrolled as a full-time student and be scheduled to graduate May of 2019. It carries with it a scholarship to be applied to a student’s final year at Vanderbilt.

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 graduating senior 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.  A senior who most exemplifies the sparkling point of light that was Casey Carter Bonar will be selected as the award recipient. 

Glenn & Elizabeth Bogitsh Award

In 1989, this award was established in memory of Vanderbilt alumni Glenn and Elizabeth Bogitsh in order to recognize high standards in physical fitness, participation in recreational sports, and sportsmanship. This award is given annually to a Vanderbilt undergraduate or graduate student, who has best demonstrated a strong commitment to campus recreational programs and, by example and leadership, has inspired participation and sportsmanlike conduct in these activities. The recipient of this award will have their name engraved on a plaque displayed in the Student Recreation Center.

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 senior recipient receives a monetary award and a trophy to commemorate the award. 

Lori Groves-White Award for Advocacy and Courage

This award given by the Office of the Dean of Students in honor of Lori Groves-White, recognizes an undergraduate student who has dedicated their time at Vanderbilt to advocating for underrepresented and marginalized communities. This student should be one who has demonstrated courage and resilience in the face of troubling circumstances and a willingness to humbly promote the betterment of the Vanderbilt community. The recipient of this award should demonstrate a commitment to advocacy and positive change within the Vanderbilt community.

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. Students may apply to multiple McGill Awards. 

The John T. & Lizzie Allen McGill First Year Awards (Two First Year Students)
Established in 1994, these $1,500 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 $2,000 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 $1,500 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 $1,500 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.

Nora C. Chaffin Scholarship

The Office of the Dean of Students invites eligible students to apply for the Nora C. Chaffin Scholarship, which was established in 1956 by the Women’s Student Government Association in appreciation of the former Dean of Women’s twenty years of service to Vanderbilt women students. All Vanderbilt juniors and seniors who have displayed service to the University in areas of student government, religious, literary and scholastic activities in the arts are eligible to apply for the Nora C. Chaffin scholarship. Financial need is a consideration, but not a requirement.

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. 

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.

The “Ripple in the Pond” described must have taken place within the current academic year (including the past summer). The recipient is only eligible for the award one time. 

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 annually to a 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. This award carries a modest stipend. 

Rob Roy Purdy Award

Rob Roy Purdy was a Chaucerian Scholar and a leader in student affairs during his long career at Vanderbilt. He demonstrated compassionate commitment to the holistic education of our students, a sense of humor, and the embodiment of our institutional values for faculty, students and staff. This award was established in 1979 to honor the Senior Vice-Chancellor Emeritus. The recipient of this award must be a sophomore, junior, or senior who demonstrates, through leadership, the qualities of humaneness, dedication, loyalty, & unselfish service to Vanderbilt University—characteristics exemplified by Rob Roy Purdy.

Susan Jung Award

The Susan Jung Award is given by the Asian-American Student Association (AASA) and the South Asian Cultural Exchange (SACE) to honor an undergraduate in the Asian-American Community of Junior or Senior standing who has shown outstanding commitment and passion to Vanderbilt through cultural and/or political education. The winner of this award receives a $500 total check from the two sponsoring organizations. 

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. Weser Award recipients are typically active in student organizations, community service projects outside of the classroom, and maintain a solid record of academic performance.

William Aaron Pathfinder Award

This award will acknowledge a deserving student whose uncommon community service efforts and leadership skills demonstrate vision, creativity, and innovation. Named in recognition of William Aaron (’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.  

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