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The William K. Frankena Prize is awarded yearly in the spring to a graduating major for excellence in the major. First awarded in 1991-92, the Frankena Prize is funded by the Marshall M. Weinberg Endowment for the Frankena and Stevenson Prizes. Recipients of the Frankena Prize have attended graduate school in Philosophy at Berkeley, Cornell, Harvard, MIT, North Carolina, Princeton, Stanford, and UCLA, as well as Harvard, Michigan, NYU and Stanford Law Schools and Dartmouth Medical School.

William Frankena was a towering figure both in moral philosophy and its history. His research extended to the philosophy of education and social philosophy. He was known for his integrity, courage and forthrightness, and his dedication to the fundamental values of a university. He was a member of the Michigan Department of Philosophy for forty-one years, serving as chair from 1947-1961. When he was awarded emeritus status in 1978, the Regents noted that "he is renowned for his learning in the history of ethics, a subject about which he is generally believed in the profession to know more than anyone else in the world." In addition to his other accomplishments, Frankena was chair of the Council for Philosophical Studies from 1965. to 1972, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Fellow hip from the Center for Advanced Study of Behavioral Science.

Marshall Weinberg, who endowed this prize in honor of Frankena, was an undergraduate major at Michigan in the late 1940's and early 1950's. He studied with Frankena and had great affection for him. After a year of Philosophy graduate school at Harvard, he transferred to the Columbia Business School. This led him to a long and successful career as a financial analyst in New York, where he lives a fairly simple life, reading philosophy, listening to music, traveling, and participating in a number of organizations he cares about and generously supports.

Frankena Prize Recipients

2016-17  Heather Buja

2015-16  Aaron Chuey & Cullen O'Keefe

2014-15  Seth Wolin

2013-14  Lelia Pastore

2011-12  Matthew Montellaro

2010-11  Dylan Vollans

2009-10  Joshua Gardner

2008-09  David R. Wolf

2007-08  Amanda Hicks

2006-07  Jennifer Ford & Adam Rigoni

2005-06  Jonathan Shaheen

2004-05  Sarah Coolidge

2004-05  Gregory H. Malivuk

2003-04  Luke B. Weiger

2002-03  David Baker

2002-03  William Campbell

2002-03  Ryo Kikuchi   

2001-02  Seth Yalcin  

2000-01  Joseph Dwaihy  

2000-01  Grace Lim   

1999-00  Michael Seaton

1998-99  Joel Hoffmann     

1997-98  Kyla S. Ebels  

1996-97  Elena Goldstein  

1995-96  Charles Hughson  

1994-95  Cody Gilmore  

1993-94  Jonathan Harrison  

1992-93  Sara H. Ferguson 

1991-92  Karl Hans Greimel