Academic Honors and Awards

Saint Mary's College celebrates graduating seniors for their exceptional academic and service achievements. 

Awards at Commencement

Eligibility for candidacy for all commencement awards (Valedictorian, Service, School or Departmental Awards) is determined by the cumulative and major grade point averages of all college work completed by March 1, of the year in which the student is scheduled to participate in the commencement exercises. The student must have filed a candidacy for graduation form with the Registrar’s Office no later than March 1.

College Academic and Service Awards:

Valedictorian: 
Elias Makhoul
An award recognizing an individual student having the highest academic achievements of the graduating class. 

De La Salle Award:  
Rosemary Cook

Named in honor of Saint John Baptist de La Salle, the founder of the Brothers of the Christian Schools and patron saint of teacher. Awarded in the memory of J.A. Graves of the class of 1872, to the graduating senior with the highest record for scholarship and general excellence.

James L. Hagerty Award:
Jordan Kurtz

Named in honor of the illustrious professor of philosophy at Saint Mary's College for 37 years and alumnus of the class of 1919. Awarded to a graduating senior with an outstanding scholastic record in the School of Liberal of Arts.

Arthur S. Campbell Award:  
Krystal Karunungan
Named in honor of the notable professor of biology who taught at Saint Mary's College from 1926-1961. Awarded to the graduating senior with an outstanding scholastic record in the School of Science.

Brother U. Jerome Griffin, FSC Award:
Lowell Kirkwood

Named in honor of the revered Brother Jerome Griffin, who was professor of economics and dean of the School of Economics and Business Administration at Saint Mary's College for 14 years. Awarded to a graduating senior with an outstanding scholastic record int he School of Economics and Business Administration.

Sister Clare Wagstaffe, CHS, PhD, AFSC, Mission and Ministry Award: 
John "J.T." Taylor
Named in honor of a Sister (and proud affiliated member of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools) who provided an unforgettable ministry of welcome, presence, encouragement, and inclusion at Saint Mary's College for almost 25 years. This award is presented to a graduating senior for outstanding commitment to the Lasallian tent to build an inclusive community "touching the hearts of those you serve" at Saint Mary's College.
An award presented to a graduating senior for outstanding commitment to the Lasallian vision of ministry "to touch the hearts of those you serve" at Saint Mary's College.

The Brother Mel Anderson, FSC, Mission and Ministry Award: 
Emily Redfern
Named in honor of the 26th and longest serving president of the Saint Mary's College. Awarded to a graduating senior for outstanding commitment to fostering Lasallian leadership and ministry in the Saint Mary's College community.

George Robert Milliken Award:  
Bridget Lanigan
Named by William J. Milliken in memory of his bother. Recognizes a graduating senior who has exemplified the College's values through action. The award honors a student who has epitomized "the best of leadership" within our community and whose influence, ideals, and involvement will leave a lasting, positive impression on the College.

George R. McKeon Male Scholar-Athlete Award: 
Calvin Hermanson
Named in memory of this noted Bay Area developer for whom the College's McKeon Basketball Pavilion is named. Awarded to a male student distinguished both as an outstanding athlete and scholar.

George R. McKeon Female Scholar-Athlete Award: 
Katherine Moss
Named in memory of this noted Bay Area developer for whom the College's McKeon Basketball Pavilion is named. Awarded to a female student distinguished both as an outstanding athlete and scholar.

Departmental Awards

HENRY RAND HATFIELD AWARD
DANIELLE DERBY
Named for the noted humanist, scholar, and accounting educator, also the first fulltime accounting professor in the United States. Awarded to a graduating senior with an outstanding scholastic record as an accounting major.

MARGARET MEAD AWARD
EMILY ESTEBAN

Named after the noted cultural anthropologist and social activist credited with bringing anthropological insights on issues such as women’s rights, race relations, and world hunger to the American public. Awarded to a graduating senior with an outstanding scholastic record as an anthropology major.

BROTHER KYRAN AVIANI, FSC AWARD
SOFIA JEREMIAS

Named in honor of the beloved Brother Kyran, noted artist and professor of art at Saint Mary’s College from 1954-1968. Awarded to a graduating senior with an outstanding scholastic record as an art/art history major.

CARLOS FREITAS AWARD
AMANDA DUKES

Named in honor of this alumnus of the class of 1925; a former regent of the College and noted Bay Area jurist. Awarded to a graduating senior with an outstanding scholastic record as a biology major.

LINUS PAULING AWARD
DANIELLE CAROTHERS

Named in honor of one of the most influential scientists of the 20th century and recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry and Peace. Awarded to a graduating senior with an outstanding scholastic record as a biochemistry major.

EARL W. SMITH AWARD
ANTONIO COSTA

Named in honor of a famous Bay Area contractor, former regent of the College, and founder of the Earl W. Smith Endowed Chair in Business Administration. Awarded to a graduating senior with an outstanding scholastic record as a business administration major.

BYRON BRYANT AWARD
RYAN MORAN

Named in memory of a longstanding professor of English and founder of the Department of Communication who taught at Saint Mary’s College from 1955–1984. Awarded to a graduating senior with an outstanding scholastic record as a communication major.

ADAM SMITH AWARD
JINGDAN ZHU

Named in memory of the 18th century Scottish philosopher and economist. Awarded to a graduating senior with an outstanding scholastic record as an economics major.

BROTHER LEO MEEHAN, FSC AWARD
JOSLYN FILLMAN & ROSEMARY COOK

Named in honor of this famous professor of English, poet, writer and orator who taught at Saint Mary’s College from 1908–1941. Awarded to the graduating seniors with outstanding scholastic records as English majors.

JOHN MUIR AWARD
ZOË OZOA LOOS

Named in honor of the Scottish born American naturalist, author, and early advocate of preservation of the U.S. wilderness. Awarded to a graduating senior with an outstanding scholastic record as an environmental sciences and studies major. 

SIN FRONTERAS AWARD
JANELLE ATIENZA

Awarded to a student in the Ethnic Studies Program in recognition of academic excellence and the student’s contributions to community betterment through activism and advocacy.

JULIE A. PRYDE AWARD
ANNIE DAO

Named in honor of this member of the class of 1987 who was most instrumental in establishing the Allied Health Science Program at Saint Mary’s College. Awarded to a graduating senior with an outstanding scholastic record as a health sciences major.

PROFESSOR BEN FRANKEL AWARD
AMANDA JOHNSON

Named in honor of Ben Frankel, who taught history at Saint Mary’s College for 50 years and inspired students to stretch their minds and inhabit the past as they prepare to transform the future. Awarded to a graduating senior with the highest scholastic record in the history major.

SAINT THOMAS AQUINAS AWARD
JAMES MICHAEL MAYNARD

Named for the celebrated 13th-century philosopher, theologian, and doctor of the church. Awarded to a graduating senior with an outstanding scholastic record in the Integral Program. 

MENS SANA IN CORPORE SANO AWARD
JORDAN KURTZ

Named to honor Juvenal’s Latin phrase that captures the essence of a modern liberal arts education. Awarded to a graduating senior with an outstanding scholastic record as a Kinesiology major.

BELL HOOKS AWARD
VALERIA RECINOS

Named for the inspirational writer, feminist scholar, and public intellectual who advocates for social justice. Awarded to a graduating senior with an outstanding scholastic record as a Justice, Community, and Leadership major

DANTE AWARD
DIANA SOTO

Named for the renowned 13th-century Italian statesman and poet, author of The Divine Comedy, the greatest work of poetic literature in the Western world. Awarded to a graduating senior with an outstanding scholastic record as a world languages and cultures major.

LOUIS LEFEVRE AWARD
ANNA KLEVIT

Named in honor of this alumnus of the class of 1913, professor, and chairman of the Department of History at Saint Mary’s College for 35 years. Awarded to a graduating senior with an outstanding scholastic record as a performing arts major.

SAINT ALBERTUS MAGNUS AWARD
MARY GATTA 

Named for the extraordinary 13th-century scientist, philosopher, theologian and doctor of the church. Awarded to a graduating senior with an outstanding scholastic record as a philosophy major.

GALILEO GALILEI AWARD
ÁLVARO RAMÍREZ-HONG

Named for the scholar whose research revolutionized the way human beings see their place in the cosmos. Awarded to a graduating senior with an outstanding scholastic record as a physics and astronomy major.

THOMAS JEFFERSON AWARD
MEGAN COLLINS 

Named for the third president of the United States, signer of the Declaration of Independence, and powerful advocate of liberty. Awarded to a graduating senior with an outstanding scholastic record as a politics major.

FREDERICK WHELAN AWARD
MELISSA VAN DYKE

Named in memory of the late Frederick Whelan, professor and chairman of the Department of Psychology at Saint Mary’s College for 14 years. Awarded to a graduating senior with an outstanding scholastic record as a psychology major.

JOHN XXIII AWARD
MADISON CHASTAIN

Named for the beloved 20thcentury Pope, most noted for convening the Second Vatican Council, the most historic event in the church in modern times. Awarded to a graduating senior with an outstanding scholastic record as a religious studies major.

JANE ADDAMS AWARD
ROSEMARY COOK

Named for the sociologist and social activist who co-founded the Hull House and was the first American woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931. Awarded to a graduating senior with an outstanding record as a sociology major.

SOR JUANA INES DE LA CRUZ AWARD
STEPHANIE STRICK

Named for the 17th-century poet, philosopher, and defender of women’s right to education. Awarded to the graduating senior with an outstanding scholastic record in women’s and gender studies.

Academic Honors: Honors at Graduation

Summa Cum Laude: A student must have earned a cumulative grade point average of 3.85 for all college work.

Magna Cum Laude: A student must have earned a cumulative grade point average of 3.70 for all college work.

Cum Laude: A student must have earned a cumulative grade point average of 3.50 for all college work.

To qualify for graduation with honors, transfer students must complete at least nine courses at Saint Mary’s with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.50.