Commencement Awards

2020 Commencement Award Winners

Morrissey College Awards


George F. and Jean W. Bemis Award

Award Recipient: Nwamaka Nnaeto

This award was established in memory of George Fisher Bemis (1899-1971) and Jean Wilmot Bemis (1903-1987) of Milton, Massachusetts, a devoted couple quietly of service to others and with whom it was a delight to work. The award seeks to single out a member of the senior class distinguished for service to others.

Francis A. Brick Award

Award Recipient: Collin Quigley

This award, the gift of Mrs. Francis A. Brick in memory of her husband Francis A. Brick, LL.D. '96, is given to the student who has been outstanding in character, loyalty, leadership, and scholarship during their four years at Boston College.

Brendan Connolly, S.J., Award

Award Recipient: Lilah Butler

This award is given in honor of Brendan Connolly, S.J., Director of Libraries at Boston College (1959-1974), a witty and deeply loyal man who loved books and respected learning. This award is given to a member of the senior class who is distinguished for the same characteristics.

Matthew Copithorne Scholarship

Award Recipients: Meirui An, Kerianne DiBattista, William Johnson, Eric Snow, Chantal Sanchez, Megan Yeo

This award is given to a graduate, exhibiting qualities of character, industry, and intelligence, and who plans to do graduate study at Harvard or M.I.T.

Mary A. and Katherine G. Finneran Commencement Award

Award Recipients: Meirui An and Luke Murphy

This award is the gift of Misses Elizabeth and Theresa Finneran and is given to the student who has achieved outstanding success in studies while also devoting time and talents to other activities for the enrichment of the College and student life.

Thomas I. Gasson, S.J., Award

Award Recipient: Jiawei Peng

This award, in honor of Thomas I. Gasson, S.J., President of Boston College (1907-1914), is given to the graduating senior with a distinguished academic record over a four-year period.

General Excellence Award

Award Recipient: Madeleine Hughes

This award, a gift of the Philomatheia Club, is given to the student who has achieved general excellence in all branches of studies during their entire four years at Boston College.

William J. Kenealy, S.J., Award

Award Recipient: Katherine Lietz

This award was established in memory of the late William J. Kenealy, S.J., Dean of the Boston College Law School (1939-1956), whose life was distinguished by a passion for social justice. This award is given to the graduating senior who has been distinguished in both academic work and social concern.

Albert J. McGuinn, S.J., Award

Award Recipient: Pranav Parikh

This award is given in memory of the late Albert McGuinn, S.J., long-time Chair of the Chemistry Department at Boston College, and is presented to a senior candidate for the Bachelor of Science degree. The recipient has most successfully combined proficiency in a major field of study with achievements, either academic, extracurricular, or a combination of both, in the social sciences or humanities.

Henry J. McMahon Award

Award Recipient: William Johnson

This award was established in memory of Henry J. McMahon, faculty member and Associate Dean at Boston College (1946-1984). This award is given annually to a graduating senior in the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences who has been accepted at a law school and who has been distinguished by scholarship, loyalty, and service to the College.

John F. Norton Award

Award Recipient: Adriana Watkins

This award, in honor of John F. Norton '22, Boston College Professor (1926-1965), is given to the student who best personifies the tradition of humanistic scholarship.

Harry W. Smith Award

Award Recipient: Julia Arnese

This award, the gift of the Smith Family is given in memory of Harry W. Smith, a leader in corporate and community philanthropic work, to honor a member of the senior class who has used personal talents to an exceptional degree in the service of others.

Dr. Joseph Stanton Memorial Award

Award Recipient: Bridgette Merriman

This cash award is the gift of Doctors Richard Stanton '38 and Joseph R. Stanton '42 in memory of their father, Dr. Joseph Stanton, M.D. The award is given to the student who has been accepted to a medical school and who has been outstanding in character, loyalty, leadership, and scholarship at Boston College.

Joseph R. Stanton, M.D. '42 Award

Award Recipient: James Flynn

This award is a gift from Stanton Medical Associates in memory of Joseph Stanton, M.D. '42. The award is intended for a graduating senior who has been accepted by a medical school and who has been outstanding in character, loyalty, leadership, and scholarship at Boston College.

Morrissey College Scholar of the College Awards


The Scholar of the College is an award of distinction to exceptional students who have excelled academically in their undergraduate studies and who have done substantial independent work of the highest quality for a significant part of their senior year, under the supervision of faculty scholars.

  • Enric Adillon
  • Lin An
  • Michaela Arguin
  • Julia Bloechl
  • Jillian Cusick
  • Noella D'Souza
  • Zoe Fanning
  • Anne Marie Green
  • William Johnson
  • Amanda Judah
  • Chia-Jung (Rose) Kuo
  • Bridgette Merriman
  • Collin Quigley
  • Evey Satterfield
  • Megan Yeo
  • Yuting Zhang

Morrissey College Department Awards


Dr. Donald Brown Award

Award Recipient: Omonosa Owens

This award was established in honor of the former Director of the Office of AHANA Student Programs from 1978 to 2005. This award honors a senior who throughout their undergraduate career has made extraordinary contributions to the BC community in ways that have benefited AHANA students in the areas of leadership, service, and academic development.

Richard and Marianne Martin Award for Studio Art

Award Recipient: Lydia Antrim

This award was established in memory of Richard and Marianne Martin for their dedication to the ideals of art, and for their unstinting devotion to the goals and values of Boston College.

Allison R. Macomber, Jr. Award in the Fine Arts for outstanding work in Studio Art

Award Recipient: Ziyang Xiang

Allison Macomber, Artist-in-Residence at Boston College from 1963 to 1979, was an inspirational presence and his teaching opened the eyes not only of his students but also of the entire community to the wonders of art.

Allison R. Macomber, Jr. Award in the Fine Arts for outstanding work in Art History

Award Recipient: Alyssa Trejo

Allison Macomber, Artist-in-Residence at Boston College from 1963 to 1979, was an inspirational presence and his teaching opened the eyes not only of his students but also of the entire community to the wonders of art.

Richard and Marianne Martin Award for Art History

Award Recipient: Erin Rosengren

This award was established in memory of Richard and Marianne Martin for their dedication to the ideals of art, and for their unstinting devotion to the goals and values of Boston College.

Max Wainer Award

Award Recipient: Emma Waldron

This award, the gift of Anneliese K. Wainer, Ph.D. '72, in honor of her husband, Max Wainer, is given annually to the senior who is deemed an outstanding student in Classical Studies.

John Henry Lawton Award

Award Recipient: Barrette Janney

This award is presented in memory of John Henry Lawton to a member of the senior class who has shown outstanding scholarship in the Department of Communication.

Gail A. McGrath Award

Award Recipients: Katelyn Zike and Celia Carbone

This award is presented in memory of Dr. Gail A. McGrath, a beloved Professor of Communication at Boston College (1966-1997), to a member of the senior class pursuing a graduate degree in Communication.

John J. Neuhauser Award in Computer Science

Award Recipient: Jacob Bennett

This award, in honor of John J. Neuhauser, a founder of the Boston College Computer Science Department and its first Chair, is given to a senior who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in computer science.

Alice E. Bourneuf Award

Award Recipient: Zoe Greenwood

This award, in honor of Alice E. Bourneuf, Professor of Economics at Boston College (1959-1977), is given to an outstanding senior in Economics based on achievement in both major and non-major courses, strength of curriculum, quality of written and creative work, and attitude toward the study of economics.

Bishop Kelleher Award

Award Recipient: Adriana Watkins

This award, donated by His Eminence, the late Francis Cardinal Spellman, in honor of The Most Reverend Louis F. Kelleher, is given to an undergraduate student for the best writing in poetry published in a Boston College undergraduate publication.

William A. Kean Memorial Award

Award Recipients: Margaret McQuade and Bella Peng

This award, the gift of James M. Kean in memory of his brother William A. Kean '35, is given to the member of the graduating class deemed the outstanding English major.

Joseph G. and Margaret M. Dever Fellowship

Award Recipients: Dylan Cooper and Claire Madden

Founded by Robert Muse, Esq. '42 in honor of his classmate Joseph Dever, the cash grant is given to a graduating senior who shows promise of a career in writing.

Cardinal Cushing Award

Award Recipient: Timothy Morrissey

This award, donated by His Eminence, the late Francis Cardinal Spellman, in honor of Richard Cardinal Cushing, is given annually to an undergraduate student for the best writing in fiction published in a Boston College undergraduate publication.

J. Robert Barth, S.J., Award for Excellence in the Arts

Award Recipient: Emma Hardy

This award is given in honor of the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (1988-1999), who established and nurtured departments and programs in the arts. The award is presented annually to a senior who has made outstanding contributions to Boston College in the fine or performing arts.

Andrew Bunie Award

Award Recipient: Rachel Hoyle

This award was established by the History Department in honor of Andrew Bunie, esteemed colleague (1968-2006), indefatigable researcher, and remarkable teacher. It is given each year to a graduating senior in recognition of exceptional historical scholarship.

Patrick Durcan Award

Award Recipient: Amanda Judah

This award, the gift of Mrs. J. Greer, in memory of her brother, Reverend Patrick Durcan, is given to a student whose overall performance in history courses has been outstanding.

Thomas H. O'Connor Award

Award Recipient: Rose Kuo

This award was established by the History Department in honor of the late Thomas H. O’Connor, who taught in the department from 1950 through 1999, and who also served as Boston College University Historian. It is given each year to a graduating senior in recognition of outstanding achievement in the study of American history.

Paul J. Sally, Jr. Award

Award Recipient: Lin An

This is a cash award in honor of Paul J. Sally, Jr. '54, '56, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Chicago, a highly esteemed mathematician well known for his many contributions to mathematical endeavors at all levels. This award is bestowed on a senior mathematics major who has demonstrated excellence in mathematics course work of a particularly demanding nature.

Frank J. Bailey, Sr. Award

Award Recipient: Michaela Arguin

This award is a gift of the Bailey family in memory of their father Frank J. Bailey, given to a graduating senior with a distinguished academic record in the field of Middle Eastern and Islamic studies.

T. Frank Kennedy, S.J., Award for Excellence in the Academic Study of Music

Award Recipient: Gabriel Valle

This award is given in honor of the late T. Frank Kennedy, S.J., a co-founder, long-term Chair, and guiding spirit of the Music Department, to an outstanding senior who has shown consistent excellence in the academic study of music.

Laetitia M. Blain Award for Excellence in Musical Performance

Award Recipient: Conor Ancharski

This award, named in honor of Laetitia M. Blain, Musician-in-Residence at Boston College (1975-2000), is given annually to a senior who has contributed to the musical life on campus in a significant and outstanding way.

John Bapst, S.J., Philosophy Award

Award Recipient: Alana Murphy

This award, in honor of John Bapst, S.J., is given to the student whose overall performance in philosophy courses has been outstanding.

George J. Goldsmith Award

Award Recipients: Marisa Romanelli and Cole Tamburri

This award, given in memory of longtime Physics Department faculty member George J. Goldsmith, who is remembered for both his scholarship and his selfless dedication to the students of Boston College, is given annually to a graduating physics major in recognition of excellence in academic achievement and research.

Donald S. Carlisle Award

Award Recipient: Collin Quigley

This award, established by the Department of Political Science in memory of Donald S. Carlisle, Professor of Political Science at Boston College (1968-1997), is given each year to a graduating senior for outstanding achievement in political science.

Figurito Family Award for Scholarly Achievement in Italian

Award Recipient: Michael Bamford

This award is presented in honor of Joseph Figurito, Professor of French and Italian at Boston College for over half the 20th century, to a senior for scholarly achievement in Italian.

Wendy Berson Language Award

Award Recipient: Adriana Watkins

This award, a gift from Mrs. Solomon Berson in memory of her daughter, Wendy, is given to the senior who demonstrates excellence in the area of Romance Languages in general, and specifically, the ability to speak one or more languages with great expertise.

Princess Grace of Monaco Award in French

Award Recipient: Patrick O'Connell

This award, offered by Dr. Helene Day, Consul of Monaco, and Dr. Paul William Garber and Dr. Philip C. Garber, Consuls of Chile in Boston, is given to a senior who has excelled in French.

Andrés Bello Prize in Spanish

Award Recipient: Cameron Kasanzew

This award, offered by Dr. Paul William Garber and Dr. Philip C. Garber, Consuls of Chile in Boston, is given to a senior who has excelled in Spanish.

Secondary Education Minor Award

Award Recipient: Julia Buben

This award is given to a student in the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences who has completed the Secondary Education Program within the Lynch School of Education and has achieved distinguished success as a student teacher.

David A. Karp Award

Award Recipient: Eilidh Currie

This award was named in honor of David A. Karp, Professor of Sociology from 1971 to 2012. While leading the department honors program, he inspired generations of students to strive for the insightful sociological listening and beautiful writing that are hallmarks of his work.

William A. Gamson Award

Award Recipient: Jessica Bridges

This award, established by the Department of Sociology in honor of William A. Gamson, is given each year to a graduating senior for outstanding academic achievement in sociology.

J. Paul Marcoux Award

Award Recipient: Christine Schmitt

This award, in honor of J. Paul Marcoux, is presented to a Theatre major who has demonstrated notable personal growth and achieved excellence academically and artistically. The recipient exhibits a willingness to take artistic and intellectual risks, produces work that reflects curiosity, creativity, rigor, individual initiative, originality, and demonstrates insight in theater study and practice.

Joseph M. Larkin, S.J., Award

Award Recipient: Anabel Johnson

This award is presented annually to a senior who has exhibited the qualities of dedication and integrity exemplified by the life and career of Rev. Joseph M. Larkin, S.J. The recipient has demonstrated significant personal growth over four years and has a track record of excellence, leadership, collaboration and community building and has advanced the mission of the Theatre Department.

E. Paul Robsham Distinguished Service Award

Award Recipient: Megan Ellis

This award is given annually to a senior who has served the Theatre Department and Robsham Theater Arts Center with true professionalism and dedication, has shown exceptional commitment to the collaborative process, has met challenges with enthusiasm and drive, and who embodies the motto “Ever to Excel.” Typically, this individual will be a person who has worked tirelessly behind the scenes in support of fellow students.

Cardinal O'Connell Theology Award

Award Recipient: Daniel Pflueger

This award, a gift of the late William Cardinal O'Connell, is given to the student whose overall performance in theology courses has been outstanding.

Janet Wilson James Essay Prize in Women's Studies

Award Recipient: Meredith Hawkins

This award in memory of Professor Janet Wilson James, a historian and feminist scholar, is given to a senior distinguished for scholarship in Women's Studies.