Jul 18, 2024  
2024 - 2025 College Catalog 
2024 - 2025 College Catalog

Honors and Awards

General College Honors

Dean’s List

Students who earn a minimum semester grade-point average of 3.50 or better on all courses attempted with at least 12 credit hours taken for a letter grade are named to the Dean’s List for that semester. This calculation is made at the end of each semester. Students who receive “Incomplete(s)” do not qualify for the Dean’s List.

St. Mary’s Scholars

Juniors and seniors with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.50 or better, who have taken at least 32 credit hours for a letter grade at St. Mary’s College, are designated St. Mary’s Scholars. St. Mary’s Scholars are determined once a year at the end of the spring semester.

Honors for Graduating Seniors

Latin Honors:

Any graduating senior who has completed a minimum of 64 credit hours at St. Mary’s College (at least 56 of which were letter-graded) is eligible for Latin honors based on the following cumulative grade-point average: 3.900-4.000 summa cum laude; 3.700-3.899 magna cum laude; 3.500-3.699 cum laude.

Class Valedictorian:

The class valedictorian shall be the graduating student in good standing at the College who has completed at least 96 credit hours at St. Mary’s College of Maryland and has the highest cumulative grade-point average. Any student who has received a grade of F shall not be eligible.

To be considered, students must apply to graduate no later than March 1. In the event that two or more students share the highest cumulative grade-point average, all students who qualify for this honor will be listed in the program as valedictorians. The role of commencement day speaker, however, will be chosen by lots from among those identified as valedictorians.

Honor Societies

Each society has its own nominating process and criteria for selection.

Phi Beta Kappa

Founded in 1776,Phi Beta Kappa is the most distinguished honor society in the liberal arts and sciences: It honors excellence in academic achievement, as well as breadth of intellectual study and good character. The St. Mary’s College of Maryland chapter, Zeta of Maryland, was approved by the Phi Beta Kappa Society Council in 1997 and installed in 1998, joining more than 250 other colleges and universities in the country. Zeta chapter elected its first students, or members in course, in the spring of 1998.

Students may be considered for election as juniors if their cumulative GPA is at least 3.9, but most students who are elected are seniors. All graduating seniors with a 3.75 cumulative GPA may be considered. However, because of bylaws limiting the number of students who can be elected, less than 10% of each graduating class is likely to be initiated.

Alpha Kappa Delta

Alpha Kappa Delta is an international honor society in sociology, established in 1920 for the purposes of stimulating scholarship and promoting the scientific study of society. In addition to supporting scholarship, the Society aims to provide a forum for fellowship among sociologists. The St. Mary’s College Chapter of Alpha Kappa Delta is the Mu Chapter of Maryland. St Mary’s College received its charter in 2001. Students at St. Mary’s College who demonstrate excellence in sociology and who complete a prescribed course of study are invited to seek membership in the Alpha Kappa Delta honor society.

Beta Beta Beta

Beta Beta Beta Biological Society encourages scholarly attainment in biology by reserving its regular membership to those who achieve superior academic records and who indicate special aptitude for and major interest in the life sciences. It aims to cultivate intellectual interest in the natural sciences and to promote a better appreciation of the value of biological study, thus welcoming into associate membership all those students who are interested in biology. Beta Beta Beta also endeavors to extend the boundaries of knowledge of nature by encouraging new discoveries through scientific investigation, and to this end it encourages undergraduate students to begin research work and report their findings in the journal of the society, BIOS. It emphasizes, therefore, a three-fold program: stimulation of scholarship, dissemination of scientific knowledge, and promotion of biological research.

Chi Omega Lambda

Chi Omega Lambda is the national honor society in biochemistry and molecular biology. It acknowledges outstanding undergraduate students interested in pursuing careers in the molecular life sciences. Candidates must be students majoring in biochemistry and/or molecular biology or any related field, such as biology. They must have completed their second year of a four-year curriculum or its equivalent, must be in strong academic standing, have engaged in research activities, and been involved in community outreach that helps raise science awareness.

Nu Rho Psi

Nu Rho Psi is the national honor society in neuroscience, founded in 2006 by the Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience. The St. Mary’s Chapter is the Beta in Maryland Chapter and received its charter in 2007. The purpose of Nu Rho Psi is to (1) encourage professional interest and excellence in scholarship, particularly in neuroscience; (2) award recognition to students who have achieved such excellence in scholarship; (3) advance the discipline of neuroscience; (4) encourage intellectual and social interaction between students, faculty, and professionals in neuroscience and related fields; (5) promote career development in neuroscience and related fields; (6) increase public awareness of neuroscience and its benefits for the individual and society; and (7) encourage service to the community. Membership requires a major or minor in the neurosciences, completion of nine credit hours of neuroscience-related courses, a minimum overall GPA of 3.2, and a minimum GPA of 3.5 in neuroscience courses.

Omicron Delta Epsilon

Omicron Delta Epsilon, one of the world’s largest academic honor societies, was created through the merger of two honor societies: Omicron Delta Gamma (founded in 1915), and Omicron Chi Epsilon (founded in 1955). Omicron Delta Epsilon has over 560 chapters located in the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Egypt, and France. The St. Mary’s College of Maryland local chapter, the Kappa Chapter of Maryland, was founded in 1991. It inducts an average of 20 new members annually. The objectives of Omicron Delta Epsilon are the following: the recognition of scholastic attainment and the honoring of outstanding achievements in economics; the establishment of closer ties between students and faculty in economics within colleges and universities, and among colleges and universities; the publication of its official journal, The American Economist; and the sponsoring of panels at professional meetings, as well as the Irving Fisher and Frank W. Taussig competitions.

Omicron Delta Kappa

The Omicron Delta Kappa Society, Inc. the national honor society for student leadership, recognizes and encourages superior scholarship, leadership, and exemplary character. Membership in ODK (founded in 1914) is awarded to undergraduate junior and senior students; to graduate students; to faculty, staff, administration, and alumni; and to persons qualifying for honorary membership (“honoris causa”). Student membership candidates must rank in the upper 35 percent in scholarship of their school or college and must show leadership in at least one of five areas: scholarship; athletics; campus or community service, social and religious activities, and campus government; journalism, speech, and the mass media; and creative and performing arts. The circle at St. Mary’s College of Maryland was chartered in 1999. The chapter sponsors faculty-student panel discussions, leadership activities, and participates in several community service projects each year.

Phi Alpha Theta

Phi Alpha Theta is a national honor society in history. It was organized at the University of Arkansas in 1921, and since then it has grown to more than 750 chapters. The membership of Phi Alpha Theta is composed of students and faculty who have been elected to membership on the basis of excellence in the study and writing of history. As a professional society, Phi Alpha Theta promotes the study of history through the encouragement of research, good teaching, publication, and the exchange of learning among historians in a variety of ways. It seeks to bring students and faculty together both intellectually and socially for mutual understanding and encouragement of their common interest in the study of history. St. Mary’s College is home to the Alpha-Iota-Kappa chapter of Phi Alpha Theta.

Pi Sigma Alpha

Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honor society, was founded in October 1920 at the University of Texas. Today, Pi Sigma Alpha is recognized by its membership in the Association of College Honor Societies as one of the leading honor societies. Chapters are located throughout the United States with membership well over 100,000. Juniors and seniors in the upper one-third of their class are eligible to join. Initiates must have completed 10 credit hours of political science coursework, including at least one class at the upper-level level, with a B or higher average in all political science courses. Initiations are held in the fall and spring. The St. Mary’s chapter, Sigma Omicron, installed in 1992, holds informal dinners and presentations by outside speakers of interest.

Psi Chi

Psi Chi, the national honor society in psychology, was founded in 1929 to encourage excellence in the study of psychology and the advancement of the science of psychology. The St. Mary’s chapter was established in 1987 as the first academic honor society at St. Mary’s College. Students majoring in psychology or related fields who have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.00, rank in the upper 35 percent of their class, and demonstrate superior scholarship in psychology are eligible to join Psi Chi. The St. Mary’s chapter sponsors guest speakers, career seminars, field trips, and social activities related to the study of psychology; its members also serve as tutors.

Sigma Pi Sigma

Sigma Pi Sigma is the official honor society of the physics profession. Founded in 1921, Sigma Pi Sigma exists to honor outstanding scholarship in physics; to encourage interest in physics among students at all levels; to promote an attitude of service of its members toward their fellow students, colleagues, and the public; and to provide a fellowship of persons who have excelled in physics. Students elected to membership must attain high standards of general scholarship and outstanding achievement in physics. The St. Mary’s College of Maryland chapter inducted its first members in 2009.

Sigma Tau Delta

Sigma Tau Delta is the international English honor society, founded in 1924. The purpose of Sigma Tau Delta is to place “distinction upon undergraduates, graduates and scholars in academia, as well as upon professional writers who have recognized accomplishments in linguistic or literary realms of the English Language.” The St. Mary’s College chapter of Sigma Tau Delta is the Alpha Eta Delta Chapter.

Awards for Students

Awards for students are chosen by faculty and staff, the Office of Student Activities, and the Student Government Association are described below. The St. Mary’s College Foundation also provides financial support for many awards. Most of these awards are presented at the annual Awards Convocation.


Academic Athlete Award, established in 1975 to recognize both the male and female junior (or senior) varsity athletes with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.50 or better who have earned at least 32 credit hours at St. Mary’s College and who have played an important role on one or more varsity teams. Asian Studies Award, established in 2005 by the Asian Studies faculty to recognize exceptional contributions to the cross-disciplinary study area of Asian studies.

Biology Service Award to recognize academic achievement and service to the biology program.

Book Prizes: French Embassy Book Award for outstanding achievement; German Embassy Book Award for outstanding achievement; departmental book awards in Chinese and Spanish for outstanding achievement; Department of International Languages and Cultures Book Award for outstanding achievement by a student studying two or more languages.

Club Leader of the Year: Unsung Hero Award given to a student who has worked unselfishly for the betterment of the campus community.

Club of the Year Award given to the club/organization that has demonstrated excellence in carrying out the mission of its charter.

Department Award in anthropology.

Department Award for distinguished achievement and excellence in biochemistry.

Department Award in economics.

Department Award for excellence in biology.

Department Award for excellence in chemistry and biochemistry.

Department Award for excellence in mathematics and computer science.

Department Award for excellence in physics.

Department Award in political science.

Department Award in public policy.

Department Award in sociology.

Department Merit Award, given occasionally to a graduating senior to recognize superior academic work and a strong commitment to pursue a career in a specific professional field. Margaret Eagle Dixon Award in Literature, given by Adele Dixon Tomey ‘39JC, in memory of her mother, a 1904 St. Mary’s graduate.

Michael S. Glaser Writing Award, given annually to a gifted and dedicated writer who has worked to hone his or her craft during his or her time at St. Mary’s, and shows exceptional promise for future achievement.

The Robert H. Goldsmith Award for Excellence in Chemistry, named in honor of Robert H. Goldsmith, professor emeritus in chemistry, to recognize distinguished academic achievement and excellence in chemistry.

Human Services Award, established in 1993 to recognize a junior or senior psychology or human studies major who demonstrates outstanding potential as a practitioner in human services.

Human Studies Major Award, established in 2003 to recognize a student majoring in human studies who has demonstrated a superior understanding of the themes and methods of human studies as evidenced by the quality of the student’s work in courses in the major and in any experiences such as field studies or internships.

William James Prize, established in 1986 to recognize a superior understanding and expression of philosophical discourse.

The Mattie M. Key Award in mathematics, provided by a bequest from Mattie M. Key.

The Mendel Award in Biology for Outstanding Achievement in the Second year, established in 2003 to recognize a student who has demonstrated academic excellence and achievement in genetics and also ecology and evolution.

Aurine Boyden Morsell Endowment, established in memory of “Reenie” Morsell, a former College trustee, member of the Foundation board of directors, and donor of the Boyden Art Gallery.

Neuroscience Award, given to a graduating senior with a minor (or student-designed major) in the neurosciences, who demonstrates superior depth of understanding, critical thinking, and research and communication skills in the field of neuroscience, and participation over and above what is expected in the College’s neurosciences program.

Psychology Major Award, established in 2003 to recognize a psychology major who demonstrates superior understanding of the themes and methods of the discipline.

David Beers Quinn Award in history, in honor of a distinguished former faculty member.

Religious Studies Award, established in 1993 to recognize a student who demonstrates a superior understanding of the themes and methods of religious studies.

Joseph B. Ross, Jr. Award for achievement in art history and art studio (named in memory of a former St. Mary’s College art professor).

St. Mary’s County Health Department Scholarship Fund, established in 2006 by the St. Mary’s County Health Department to support juniors or seniors pursuing a career in a health-related field.

Senior Award in Computer Science

Senior Award in Mathematics

Student Government Association Award for Student Service.

Margaret Floy Washburn Award, established in 1990 to recognize a junior or senior psychology major exemplifying superior understanding of research and experimentation in psychology.

Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Award for Scholarship and Social Responsibility, established in 2006 by the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies faculty to recognize students who have demonstrated excellence in both scholarly works and socially responsible pursuits.

Wilhelm Wundt Award, established in 2003 to recognize a student’s excellence in quantitative and methodological course work in psychology.


The Aldom-Plansoen Distinguished Professorship

This award was established through the generosity of Jarrod Aldom ‘97 and his family. The professorship is competitively awarded to newly tenured faculty and provides research funds for faculty scholarship to sustain and enrich scholarly contributions.

The Hilda C. Landers Endowed Chair in the Liberal Arts

This award was established through the generous support of the Arthur E. Landers, Jr. and Hilda C. Landers ,23 Charitable Trust, the focus of which is the development of broad perspectives on knowledge and the fostering of links among academic fields of study. In perpetuity, the holder of this chair is a distinguished teaching scholar with broad expertise in the arts and letters. This chair honors a faculty member whose accomplishments in the liberal arts have set him or her apart from academic peers, an eminent and gifted teacher who provides leadership for both the students and faculty of St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Moreover, as mandated by the Landers Chair agreement, this scholar strives to furnish vital support and enrichment to the College’s fundamental courses in the arts and letters as well as in a particular area of specialization.

The Steven Muller Distinguished Professorship in the Arts

This award honors faculty whose accomplishments in the arts distinguish them among their creative peers. The faculty member who holds this chair is a participant in the broader world of art and culture that informs the opportunities for students at St. Mary’s College, creating the foundation for their exploration and expression in the creative arts. He or she is a dedicated and talented teacher who calls on practical knowledge and experience in ways that have proven effective among students.

The Steven Muller Distinguished Professorship in the Sciences

This award honors faculty whose accomplishments in the sciences have established their command of a field of research relevant to our understanding of the world we inhabit. The faculty member who holds this chair contributes to vital dialogue among scientists, enhanced by the research contributions of St. Mary’s College students. Through laboratory and field exploration, the scientific principles of inquiry and analysis are applied to develop the systematic and technical skills of our students whose lives are enriched by the excitement of discovery.

The George B. and Willma Reeves Endowed Chair in the Liberal Arts

This award is awarded to a professor who holds outstanding academic qualifications and a demonstrated capacity to share knowledge through teaching across the curriculum. The chair is endowed by the generous support of the late George Bradford Reeves, a lifelong resident of St. Mary’s County, and his wife, Willma Reeves, along with a matching grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The Andy Kozak Faculty Contribution to Student Life Award

This award was established in 2011 by Donald R. Stabile to recognize faculty who dedicate themselves to students through active community engagement.

The G. Thomas and Martha Myers Yeager Endowed Chair in the Liberal Arts

This award was established through the generosity of G. Thomas Yeager and Martha Myers Yeager ,41. The distinguished occupant of this position possesses a broad expertise in the social or behavioral sciences and is an eminent scholar and gifted teacher. This scholar holds outstanding academic qualifications and has a demonstrated capacity to share knowledge through teaching in the unique honors college curriculum at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. He or she serves as a resource for the entire College and works to foster links between academic disciplines and to provide broad perspectives on knowledge. As a leader and renowned scholar, this individual serves as a center around which our remarkable academic community coheres.

Dodge Awards for Faculty

Seven Awards Provided by Gifts from Professor Emeritus Norton T. Dodge and Professor Donald R. Stabile.

The Homer L. Dodge Award for Outstanding Service

The Homer L Dodge Award for Excellence in Teaching

The Homer L. Dodge Awards (2) for Excellence in Teaching by Junior Faculty are named in memory of the donor’s father to recognize service to the College and outstanding teaching

The Norton T. Dodge Award for Scholarly and Creative Achievement

The Norton T. Dodge Awards (2) for Scholarly and Creative Achievement by Junior Faculty are named in honor of Norton T. Dodge to recognize professional activity of the faculty.

The seven awards are given over a three-year cycle. Recipients are selected by a special committee headed by the Dean of Faculty.

Two additional faculty awards and one staff award are made possible through campus organizations:

Faculty-Student Life Award, by the Leadership Development Committee, to a faculty member for significant contribution to student life

Student Government Association Award for Faculty Service

Student Government Association Award for Administrator or Staff Service.