Students receive academic and College awards at Founders’ Day Convocation

Meredith Woo Founders' Day
Sweet Briar President Meredith Woo speaks at Founders’ Day Convocation 2017.

During Sweet Briar’s 2017 Founders’ Day Convocation this morning, Dean of the Faculty Robert Granger announced a number of academic and College awards.

Each year, the College recognizes academic achievement by conferring upon the highest-ranking member of each class the honorary title of Emilie Watts McVea Scholar, a designation which bears the name of the second president of Sweet Briar College. This year, the sophomore class posted a record four-way tie, with Kayleigh Quinn Bekisz, Sophia Marie Dessart, Jordan Leigh Elliott and Amelia Elizabeth Mendelsohn earning the coveted title. Lydia May Gullicksen ’18 and Chanel Chiara Friedrich ’19 were named Emilie Watts McVea scholars for the senior and junior class, respectively.

Chanel Friedrich
Chanel Friedrich ’19

The Legacy Scholar award went to Annabeth Griffin ’18. Established in 1974 by the board of the Alumnae Association (now Alumnae Alliance) to honor an alumna legacy student in either the junior or senior class who has demonstrated, while at Sweet Briar, the traditions of sound learning and social responsibility that have characterized the alumnae of the College since its founding.

The Nancy Godwin Baldwin ’57 Scholars for this year are Ashton Dawn Mays ’18, Emily Barrett Dodson ’18, Magnolia Frances O’Donnell ’18, Julia Nicole Rhinehart ’18 and Emily Blair Hawk ’18.

Awarded for the first time in 2015 in memory of Nancy Godwin Baldwin ’57 for her dedication and service to her alma mater for 54 years, This scholarship is awarded to students who have made major contributions to the school and community through their leadership and demonstration of academic excellence.

The Mary Kendrick Benedict Award went to Claire Elaine Zak ’18. Established in 1945 by former students, colleagues and other friends of Mary Kendrick Benedict, the first president of Sweet Briar College, this award honors an upperclasswoman of high academic standing and personal integrity who has shown a purpose for service in her college experience.

The Manson Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Marina Renee Biel ’18. It was established by alumnae in memory of N.C. Manson Jr. to give recognition to an upperclasswoman of high academic standing who shows qualities of leadership and makes a constructive contribution to student life.

The Rickards Award went to DaZané La’Choin Cole ’20. Established in 1974 by Frances Murrell Rickards, Class of 1910, in memory of her son, who died in World War II, and her husband, this award is given to one or more members of the rising sophomore class who best demonstrate potential for leadership, academic excellence and community involvement — qualities that have distinguished the College throughout its history.

Finally, the Mary Mackintosh Sherer Award went to Caroline Margaret Thomas ’19. It was established by friends of Mary MacKintosh Sherer to recognize a rising junior who is a leader and scholar and who demonstrates the outgoing and cheerful qualities long associated with Mary MacKintosh Sherer.

Granger also recognized students who had received the following departmental academic prizes:

  • The Laura Buckham Book Award
    Cecilia Jane Mahan ’19
  • The Julia Sadler de Coligny Award
    Magnolia Frances O’Donnell ’18
  • The Gill Scholarship
    Shannon Marie Skeffington ’19
  • The Kenmore Scholar
    Maya Leslie Margaret White ’19
  • The Rebecca Tomlinson Lindblom Award
    Annabeth Griffin ’18
  • The Irene Mitchell Moore Scholarship
    Maeve Anne Xavier ’18
  • The Loren Oliver Award in Studio Art
    Julia Gail Sudol ’18
  • The Lucile Barrow Turner Award
    Lauren Rose Haigh ’18
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