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Honors Scholarships and Awards

The LSA Honors Program awards several scholarships and prizes, thanks to the generosity of alumni and friends of Honors. Use the links, below, to view the variety of opportunities, as well as the application requirements.

Use the "Make an Appointment" button on the main page to meet with an advisor about Honors scholarship opportunities. Students may email scholarships.honors@umich.edu with questions.

(Note: As an academic unit, Honors does not offer merit-based aid or financial assistance. Please visit LSA ScholarshipsU-M Office of Admissions Cost & Aid, or the U-M Office of Financial Aid.)

Honors 2017 Award Ceremony, April 27, 7:30p

This ceremony acknowledges students who have received the awards and scholarships listed below. This year's event takes place at the Michigan Union Anderson Room. Students and nominating faculty are notified prior to the event of the decisions.

[This ceremony is not to be confused with Michigan Honors and the Angell Scholar ceremony. For more information, visit this website: http://honors.umich.edu/]

Morris and Lola Wasserstein Awards - For Honors students who write or edit for the Michigan Daily

Deadline: Last Monday of March by 12:00 noon

Honors students on the writing or editorial staff of the Michigan Daily are eligible to apply for the Morris and Lola Wasserstein Awards.

The Wasserstein Awards are made possible by a generous gift from Mr. Bruce Wasserstein to honor his father and mother. Investment banker Bruce Wasserstein (1947-2009) was an Honors graduate who had a great affection for the University of Michigan, the Honors Program, and the Michigan Daily.

Awards vary in amount but can exceed $1000/term for one or two terms and are based on the applicant's overall academic record, quality of work done at the Daily, and personal statement.

Applicants should submit:

  1. A two page personal statement discussing your academic and career plans, work at the Daily, and plans for the prize money.
  2. An updated resume or CV.
  3. A list of no more than three favorite articles that you've written for the Daily (if applicable).

Please save all applications materials as a single PDF entitled "LastName_FirstName_WassersteinApplication" and send it to honors.scholarships@umich.edu.

Otto Graf Scholarship & Jack Meiland Scholarship - For outstanding Honors juniors.

Applications must be submitted via email to honors.scholarships@umich.edu no later than12:00 noon on the third Monday of March.

Each year outstanding third-year Honors students are selected as recipients of the Otto Graf and Jack Meiland Scholarships. These awards honor the late Professors Otto Graf, who served as director of the Honors Program for eighteen years, and Jack Meiland, who championed interdisciplinarity in the Honors curriculum.  Scholarships can range between $2000-5000 depending on available funding and the number of scholarships granted.

To be eligible students should be in their third year (i.e. juniors or third-year seniors) and must be pursuing an Honors major. Exceptions will be considered on an individual basis. Please email honors.scholarships@umich.edu if you have questions. Selection criteria for the scholarship include:

  1. A serious commitment to intellectual pursuits and promise for continued academic success (most applicants will have a 3.7 GPA or higher)
  2. Evidence of exceptional depth and/or breadth in their studies.  These might include, but are not limited to significant research accomplishments, an ambitious and interesting Honors thesis topic, proficiency in multiple languages, advanced coursework in a field of study, etc.
  3. Co-curricular accomplishments that supplement or complement their academic programs and demonstrate sustained commitment, leadership, and effectiveness.

Application Instructions:

Applicants should submit the following items via email to honors.scholarships@umich.edu. Please save both items as a single PDF entitled "LastName_FirstName_GrafMeilandApplication".

  1. A 500 word essay about your academic interests and your goals for the next 3-5 years.
  2. An updated resume or CV.

Applicants should also arrange for at least one and no more than three letters of recommendation to be sent directly to honors.scholarships@umich.edu.  The letters should be from faculty members who know both you and your academic work well. Please download this letter with advice and submission instructions, sending it to your faculty recommenders.

You do not need to apply separately for the Graf and Meiland competitions. The Meiland Scholarship will be awarded to the applicant to the joint competition whose academic work best exemplifies the principles of creativity and interdisciplinarity espoused by Professor Meiland.

Finalists will be invited to interview with the scholarship selection committee in late March. Finalists who are away from campus for the winter semester will be invited to interview via video link. Scholarship winners will be announced in early April.

Virginia L. Voss Memorial Award - For excellence in writing by Senior Honors women.

The Virginia L. Voss Memorial Awards for excellence in writing by senior Honors women were established in memory of the late Ms. Voss, an Honors graduate in the 1950s and college editor at Mademoiselle Magazine. Students may apply for these awards themselves; however some departments nominate outstanding students, and we welcome such nominations. Whether self-nominated or put forward by the department, students will need a letter of recommendation or evaluation as described below. The Voss prizes carry substantial monetary awards.

There are three categories of awards:

  1. Academic writing.
  2. Journalism.
  3. Creative writing.

Deadline:  12 noon, April 6, 2017. 

Students: 

You are encouraged to submit your thesis work directly to honors.prizes@umich.edu (Word or PDF attachment). Please save all applications materials as a single PDF entitled "LastName_FirstName_Thesis." You will receive a confirmation email upon our receipt of the document.

Concentration directors, advisors, and departmental representatives:

The Virginia Voss Memorial Awards for excellence in writing by senior Honors women can be worth as much as $1000, occasionally more. Students submit entries directly to us, but we need some input from the departments of concentration. We would greatly appreciate information about the way the candidates are ranked by your department and the strengths of each. One letter comparing the thesis work of all the women in your department is fine. You need not supply individual letters for each applicant. The more guidance you can give us about the quality of your students’ thesis work, the better. Please send your recommendation(s)/documentation to honors.prizes@umich.edu, using the following naming convention: "Student Last Name_Student First Name_Faculty Recommender Last Name."

Presentation:

Voss Awards will be given at the Honors Graduation Awards ceremony on the Thursday prior to graduation. Faculty who submit nominations are welcome to attend the Awards Ceremony

Kennedy Memorial Awards - Supports excellence in writing and scholarship for outstanding students in the junior or senior class.

John P. Kennedy, an alumnus of the Honors Program, has provided two generous gifts to acknowledge and support excellence in writing and scholarship, particularly in poetry and women's issues. Winners receive a signed certificate and a cash award of $1500.

Patricia Kennedy Prize

Named in honor of Mr. Kennedy’s mother, this award is given with preference for students working in English literature or women’s issues: any student whose work touches on these fields may be nominated for this award, no matter the department of major. 

Dr. John J. Kennedy Prize

Named in honor of Mr. Kennedy’s father, this award is given to acknowledge and support excellence in poetry, creative writing, and scholarship about literature for an outstanding student in the Honors Program. 

We invite department chairs, Honors concentration directors and advisors, and Honors thesis advisors to nominate all excellent students for this prize. Because of the specific fields of endeavor which this prize recognizes, the nomination letter should describe the student’s excellence in either or both of these fields, in course work, research, and thesis as appropriate.

Award winners are chosen by the Honors Directors, the Honors faculty advisory council, and senior staff. Nominations should include a supporting letter from the Department Chair, Associate Chair or Honors Concentration Director or Advisor. If available, a letter from the student's thesis advisor is also welcome, in which case a short endorsement from the department would suffice. Nominations should address the undergraduate achievements of the student and his/her potential for continued excellence.

Nominations should reach our office by the first Thursday in April, at noon. Electronic submissions should be sent to honors.prizes@umich.edu. Please save all applications materials as a single PDF entitled "LastName_FirstName_Application." Hard copy nominations should be sent to Dr. Donna Wessel Walker, Associate Director, LSA Honors Program, 1330 Mason Hall.

Prizes are presented at the Honors Graduation Awards Ceremony, which will be held the Thursday before graduation. Faculty who submit nominations are welcome to attend the Awards Ceremony.

Goldstein Prize for Honors Seniors - Recognizes outstanding students who are graduating with Honors

Joseph and Ellen Goldstein of Washington D.C. have provided a generous gift to recognize outstanding students who are graduating with Honors. Nine prizes range across the academic divisions of the college and also recognize achievement or potential in the fine arts, public service, teaching, and humanitarianism. Each prize is named for a distinguished Michigan alumnus, alumna or faculty member associated with endeavors across the intellectual breadth of the College. In addition to a cash prize of $1000, winners also receive a formal, framed citation of their award signed by President Schlissel and Dean Martin; the winners’ names are inscribed on a plaque in our office.

We invite department chairs, Honors concentration advisors, and Honors thesis advisors to nominate all excellent students for these prizes. These prizes are not solely thesis prizes, but recognize overall excellence in the various fields of endeavor. The humanities, social science, and math and natural science prizes are intended for the most academically outstanding student in each of the large discipline areas. The creative arts prize is for a student who is a writer, musician, visual artist, or actor. The public service, teaching, and humanitarian prizes are awarded as much for the potential a student demonstrates as for past or current accomplishments. Even though Sidney Fine was an honored teacher of, mentor in, and scholar of history, the prize named for him may be won by students who have demonstrated the potential to become inspiring teachers and scholars in any discipline.

Award winners are chosen by the Honors Directors, the Honors faculty advisory council, and senior staff. Nominations should include a supporting letter from the Department Chair, Associate Chair or Honors Concentration Director or Advisor as well as one from the student's thesis advisor and should address the undergraduate achievements of the student and his/her potential for continued excellence. Other faculty may also write to describe the breadth of the student’s achievement.

Nominations:

Nominations should reach our office by the first Thursday in April, at noon. You may email your nominations directly to honors.prizes@umich.edu. Please save all applications materials as a single PDF entitled "LastName_FirstName_Application." Please also indicate the specific category you have in mind, but if you think a student is eligible for more than one prize, or you’re not sure which one to use, don’t worry: we will transfer nominations to the category we find most appropriate.

Prizes are presented at the Honors Graduation Awards Ceremony, which will be held in the Michigan Union at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 30, 2015. Faculty who submit nominations are welcome to attend the Awards Ceremony.

The prizes are:

The Robert Hayden Humanities Award

Robert Hayden (1913-1980), a preeminently important poet in American and African-American literature, was a graduate student at UM, studying under W. H. Auden. He taught at Michigan after his graduation, spent 23 years on the faculty of Fisk University, then returned to UM, where he completed his teaching career.

The Arthur Miller Arts Award

Arthur Miller (1915-2005) graduated from UM in 1938 and went on to become one of the most celebrated playwrights of the twentieth century. Winner of a Pulitzer Prize, the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, and Kennedy Center honoree, Miller returned to Michigan in 2004 for “An Arthur Miller Celebration.”

The Jerome and Isabella Karle Award in Physical Sciences

Jerome Karle received his Ph.D. in physics from UM in 1938. He worked on the Manhattan Project and was a co-winner of the 1985 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Isabella Karle earned a Ph.D. in physical chemistry at UM in 1944 and went on to pioneer new methods to study the structure of molecules.

The Marshall Nirenberg Award in Life Sciences

Marshall Nirenberg (1927-2010) earned his Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry at UM in 1957 and spent most of his career at the National Institutes of Health, where he became the section head for Biochemical Genetics in 1962.  He shared the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1968 with two other scientists for work on the genetic code and its function in protein synthesis.

The Stephen Smale Award in Mathematical Sciences

Stephen Smale received his Ph.D. in mathematics from UM in 1957, having begun his studies here as an first-year student in 1948.  He spent most of his career at UC-Berkeley and in Hong Kong, where he is a Distinguished University Professor.  His most substantial work is on the Poincaré conjecture and Morse theory; that and other ground-breaking work has been recognized by many awards and honors, including the Fields Medal, the Veblen Prize, the National Science Medal, and the Wolf Prize.

The Marshall Sahlins Social Science Award

Marshall Sahlins earned his BA at UM. He has been Professor of Anthropology at the University of Chicago since 1973. His numerous books and articles have covered topics from the civilizations of the Pacific to the effects of cultural resistance in indigenous populations.

The Gerald Ford Public Service Award

The thirty-eighth President of the United States, Gerald Ford (1913-2006) was a UM alumnus who, as a student, was a starting center on the football team. In recognition of his lifetime of service to the state of Michigan and to the nation, the School of Public Policy here was named for him. The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library is on the North Campus.

The Raoul Wallenberg Humanitarian Award

Raoul Wallenberg (1912-1947?), Swedish businessman and diplomat, is credited with saving 100,000 Hungarian Jews from Nazi extermination in 1944. He studied architecture at Michigan in the late 1930s.

The Sidney Fine Teaching Award

Sidney Fine (1920-2009), Andrew Dickinson White Distinguished Professor of History, was among the most admired and respected faculty ever to teach at Michigan. During his career, which also included award-winning research in modern American history, Professor Fine taught more than 26,000 students.  He was the only UM professor to have been honored both by faculty colleagues in the Henry Russel lectureship and by undergraduate students in the Golden Apple Award.

Terrence J. McDonald Prize for Archival Research - For the "finest thesis making substantial use of archives or museums."

This award is specifically “for the finest thesis which made substantial use of archives or museums.”  Endowed by Honors alumnus John A. Rapaport, this award may be given to a student in any field of study.  The winner will receive a signed certificate and a cash award of $1500.

Deadline: the first Thursday in April, at noon.  You may email your nominations to honors.prizes@umich.edu.

For individual questions, please call Donna Wessel Walker at (734) 763-5853. 

Benedek London Scholarship - For students studying abroad at the London School of Economics or another London-area university.

Created by a generous donation from Honors alumnus, Peter Benedek, the Benedek London Scholarship supports LSA Honors students who plan to study abroad at the London School of Economics or another London-area university.  Scholarships are available for either fall/winter or spring/summer programs.  Interested students should make an appointment with Henry Dyson to discuss the scholarship and potential study abroad programs.  Students already accepted into an LSE or London-area study abroad program should complete the online application for the scholarship.

Apply Here