Academic Honors at Commencement
To be considered for University Honors, an undergraduate student must have completed at least 60 units of academic coursework graded "A" through "F" at USF and have a minimum USF grade point average of:
- 3.85 for Summa Cum Laude
- 3.75 for Magna Cum Laude
- 3.50 for Cum Laude
To be recognized for University Honors at the Commencement Exercises, an undergraduate student must have completed, or be in the process of completing, all courses required for his or her degree.
Valedictorians of the University of San Francisco exemplify the highest standards of leadership and scholarship in the Jesuit tradition. A leader in the finest sense of the word, the Valedictorian demonstrates selfless service to the University community while reflecting excellence in all academic pursuits. He or she is firmly committed to the mission of the University. In particular, the Valedictorian has helped to create a campus-wide environment that values each individual, heightens ethical standards, instills a passion for justice, and integrates faith with life.
To be considered for Valedictorian, a student must meet the following requirements:
- The student must have completed at least 60 units of academic course work graded "A" through "F" at the University of San Francisco prior to the Spring term in which he or she is participating in the May commencement ceremony as a degree candidate, with a minimum USF grade-point average of 3.85. The computation of the grade-point average is accomplished without benefit of rounding and is based on the last term completed.
- The student must be graduating with an undergraduate degree.
- The student must have completed or be in progress of completing all courses required for the degree to be granted in the Spring term in which the ceremony is held. Course work to be completed in a subsequent term (e.g., Summer) will not be applicable.
- The student must have filed a Graduation Application no later than 90 calendar days preceding the date of Graduation.
- The student must not have received any sanction imposed as an outcome of a campus disciplinary process (academic or nonacademic) within the last three semesters preceding the Spring term in which he or she is participating in the May commencement ceremony as a degree candidate.
The student selected as Valedictorian will be disqualified if he or she receives any sanction imposed as an outcome of a campus disciplinary process (academic or nonacademic) after the time of his or her selection as Valedictorian.
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The University of San Francisco gives awards to students who have distinguished themselves in scholarship, service, and loyalty to the University. Such awards are not necessarily given each academic year.
The Alumni Board of Governors Award
A USF commemorative watch, the gift of the Board of Governors of the University Alumni Association, to the senior distinguished for dedicated service to the University and to the Alumni Association.
The Charles L. Harney Award
A plaque, the gift of Richard A. Parina, A.B. '31, in memory of Mr. Charles L. Harney, to the senior athlete who has maintained the highest academic average, and performed the greatest service to the University during his or her tenure at the University.
The Distinction in Leadership Award
A watch, the gift from the University Life Division, is given to the senior who has demonstrated exemplary leadership for the benefit of the USF community.
The Father Flynn Award
A purse, in memory of the Reverend Hubert Flynn, S.J., for the senior who has, throughout the entire undergraduate curriculum, maintained the highest average for scholarship.
The Father Lonergan Award
A purse, a gift of the University of San Francisco, to the graduating senior majoring in Theology who has maintained the highest scholastic average in the course of studies.
The Father Maraschi Award
A purse, in memory of the Reverend Anthony Maraschi, S.J., for the senior who, as a transfer student, has throughout the remainder of the undergraduate curriculum at the University of San Francisco, maintained the highest average for scholarship.
The Green and Gold Club Loyalty Award
A plaque, the gift of the Green and Gold Club, to the athlete, who, by his or her conduct, has been the source of greatest inspiration to his or her teammates.
The Pedro Arrupe Award
Granted by the University president, it is given to a graduating student who has embodied the ideals of Ignatian spirituality and Jesuit education. Named in honor of the 28th general of the Society of Jesus, this award honors a student whose commitments give evidence of a living faith that seeks to find God in every event and every person. The promotion of justice and the desire to seek the greatest good, constitutive elements of the Jesuit tradition, have marked the choices and activities of the recipient.
The Peter Peletta Award
A plaque, the gift of the Athletic Department in memory of Mr. Peter P. Peletta, University Athletic Director, 1960-1971, to the senior most distinguished for unselfish and loyal service to the athletic programs of the University.
The Spirit of St. Francis Award
Granted by the University president, it is given to a graduating student who has embodied the ideals of St. Francis of Assisi. St. Francis, after whom the city of San Francisco is named, has long been honored by peoples of many religious traditions for his humble and loving service to all whom he encountered. The recipient of this award is recognized by the University community for outstanding service, especially to the poor and disenfranchised of San Francisco.
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College of Arts and Sciences Awards
American Chemical Society Student Affiliates Achievement Award
An inscription on the award plaque to the graduating student affiliate of the American Chemical Society Student Affiliates of the University of San Francisco, in recognition of outstanding service to the Society and the Department of Chemistry.
Charles Dullea and Paul Nathan National/International Community Service Award
A purse, the gift of Politics Department alumnus Paul Nathan, is awarded each year to the graduating Politics student who demonstrates the most outstanding community service, beyond the call of duty, on the national or international level, during his/her college years.
Charles Dullea and Paul Nathan San Francisco Bay Area Community Service Award
A purse, the gift of Politics Department alumnus Paul Nathan, is awarded each year to the graduating Politics student who demonstrates the most outstanding community service, beyond the call of duty, in the San Francisco Bay Area, during his/her college years.
The Communication Studies Outstanding Student Award
A plaque in recognition of outstanding academic achievement in the Department of Communication Studies.
The David Herlihy Prize in History
A purse, in memory of Dr. David Herlihy, University of San Francisco alumnus and distinguished medieval historian, in recognition of superior historical scholarship by a graduating history major.
The Dean's Medal for Excellence in the Arts
A medal and a purse, a gift of the College of Arts and Sciences, to the graduating senior in the Arts who has best exemplified in academic accomplishments, extracurricular work, and personal life the values of the University of San Francisco, its Mission and Goals.
The Dean's Medal for Excellence in the Sciences
A medal and a purse, a gift of the College of Arts and Sciences, to the graduating senior in the Sciences who has best exemplified in academic accomplishments, extracurricular work, and personal life the values of the University of San Francisco, its Mission and Goals.
Dr. Elwood Molseed Award
A plaque, the gift of Omicron Theta Chi Fraternity and Sorority, in memory of Dr. Elwood Molseed, former Assistant Professor of biology, to the graduating senior in the pre-professional health fraternity, Omicron Theta Chi, who has been judged most worthy on the basis of academic merit and contributions to the life of the University.
Dr. Mel Gorman Award
A purse and an inscription on the award plaque, the gift of the American Chemical Society Student Affiliates of the University of San Francisco, in memory of Dr. Mel Gorman, former Professor of Chemistry, to the outstanding senior affiliate and Chemistry major in recognition of superior scientific scholarship
Dr. Raymond Genolio Award
A purse, in memory of Dr. Raymond J. Genolio, former Associate Professor of Physics, for the graduating senior who ranks highest in scholarship among the academic disciplines administered by the Department of Physics.
The Esther Madriz Prize for Social Justice
A purse and certificate, in memory of Dr. Esther Madriz, vivacious teacher, social activist, and esteemed colleague of the departments and programs of Sociology, Latin American Studies, and Women's Studies, is awarded to the graduating senior whose academic excellence and commitment to social justice exemplify Esther's spectacular gifts to the University of San Francisco and the world.
The Father Fred J. Spieler Award
A purse and certificate, the gift of Douglas K. Amis, A.B., '71, Ed.D., '82, in memory of the Reverend Fred Spieler, S.J., given to a senior student in the Mass Media Studies Program, in recognition of exceptional academic achievement and outstanding professional development in Mass Media.
The Frank L. Beach Award
A purse, in memory of Dr. Frank L. Beach `53, MA `57, long-time professor and chair of the Department of History and beloved teacher, in recognition of the highest grade point average achieved by a graduating history major.
The Fred Minnigerode Award
A purse and plaque, in memory of Dr. Frederick Minnigerode III, former Associate Professor of Psychology, for the outstanding graduating senior in Psychology.
The James J. Gill Award
A purse, the gift of the Honorable William A. O'Brien, A.B., '24; J.D., '26; and William King O'Brien, B.S., '56; in memory of James J. Gill, former director of the College Players, for the outstanding actor or actress in the dramatic arts.
Mauricio Romero Award
A purse, the gift of Politics Department alumna Elizabeth Romero, is awarded each year to the graduating Politics student who demonstrates excellence in both academics and community service.
Ralph Lane Peace & Justice Essay Award
A purse, the gift of USF Emeritus Professor Ralph Lane and Joan Loan, is awarded each year to the student who writes the best essay on a peace and justice theme, broadly defined.
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School of Business and Management Awards
The A.A. Berti Award
An inscribed desk set, the gift of A. Russell Berti, A.B., '26, LL.B, '28, in memory of his father, Augustin B. Berti, awarded to the graduating senior in the McLaren College of Business who has earned the highest record of scholarship.
Dean's Service Award
A plaque, given to graduating candidates in both the undergraduate Business program and Master of Business Administration program, who have demonstrated superior academic performance and outstanding service to the School of Business and Management and to University student life.
Delta Sigma Pi Award
A golden key, the gift of the Gamma Omicron Chapter of the International Fraternity of Delta Sigma Pi, awarded to the senior who, upon graduation, has demonstrated outstanding scholarship in Business Administration.
The Executive Master of Business Administration Award
A plaque awarded by the School of Business and Management Dean and faculty to the member of the graduating E.P.M.B.A. class who has earned the highest scholastic average throughout his or her entire graduate program.
Graduate Business Association Award
Plaques awarded by the Graduate Business Association to the graduating MBA students who have been recognized by their peers as providing outstanding service to the Master of Business Administration program.
The Master of Business Administration Award
A plaque awarded by the School of Business and Management Dean and faculty to the member of the graduating M.B.A. class who has earned the highest scholastic average throughout his or her entire graduate program.
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School of Nursing and Health Professions Awards
Community Health Nursing Award for Nursing Excellence in the Community Setting
A purse awarded to the graduating senior who has demonstrated excellence in community health nursing.
The Dean's Medal for Promoting Professionalism
A bronze medal awarded to the graduating senior who has contributed most to promoting professionalism among the students in the School of Nursing.
Frances Monet Carter Award for Clinical Excellence in Psychiatric Nursing
A purse awarded to the graduating Senior in the first Baccalaureate degree program in the School of Nursing who, in the opinion of the psychiatric nursing faculty, has demonstrated outstanding clinical practice in psychiatric/mental health nursing, and who has applied the principles inherent in psychiatric/mental health nursing to individuals experiencing emotional pain in other clinical settings.
The Mother Mary Baptist Russell Award
A gold Russell crest, the gift of the Sisters of Mercy of St. Mary's Hospital and Medical Center, to the graduating senior in the School of Nursing who, in the opinion of his or her fellow students, has demonstrated continuous qualities of leadership and standards of personal and professional excellence.
The Sister Mary Phillippa Fayne Award
A purse, the gift of the medical staff of St. Mary's Hospital and Medical Center, awarded to the graduating senior of the School of Nursing who, in the opinion of the faculty, has displayed outstanding qualities of professional and academic leadership.
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School of Education Awards
Elizabeth D. Bigelow Award
A certificate presented to a student for outstanding service to faculty and students of the Counseling Psychology program in the School of Education.
The Outstanding Doctoral Student Award
A certificate presented by the faculty of the School of Education to doctoral students who have demonstrated an ability to bring theory and knowledge to bear on the solution of a significant educational problem.
The Outstanding Student in Teacher Education Award
A certificate presented by the faculty of the Teacher Education Department to the student who, by competence, caring, and commitment, exemplifies the best qualities of today's teacher.
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College of Professional Studies Awards
CPS Alumni Society Award
A class ring, a gift of the College of Professional Studies Alumni Society, awarded to the student nominated by his/her peers who has exemplified leadership and accomplishment in the classroom by inspiring, encouraging, and motivating fellow students.
Dean's Award for Academic Excellence
A plaque and a purse, gifts of the College of Professional Studies, awarded to the undergraduate student with the best overall academic performance during his or her entire undergraduate course of study.
Dr. Gene Ulansky Portfolio Award
A plaque and a purse, gifts of the College of Professional Studies, awarded to the undergraduate student who has demonstrated exemplary application and understanding of experiential learning.
Ignatian Service Award
A plaque and a purse, gifts of the College of Professional Studies, awarded to the graduating student who has exemplified the Jesuit ideals using his or her education in the service of others, maintained high ethical standards, and promoted justice both within USF and the broader community.
Military Science Awards
American Legion Award for Military Excellence
A gold medal, the gift of the American Legion, awarded to the cadet who, while achieving academic proficiency, has demonstrated outstanding qualities in military leadership, character and citizenship.
American Legion Award for Scholastic Excellence
A gold medal, the gift of the American Legion, awarded to the candidate who has ranked in the top 25% of the class in academics, and who has demonstrated qualities of leadership.
American Veterans of World War II Award
A medal awarded to the candidate who has demonstrated diligence in discharge of duty and overall concern for the personnel in ROTC.
Daughters of the American Revolution Medal
A gold medal, the gift of the Daughters of the American Revolution, awarded to the candidate who has been in the top 25% of the ROTC class, and who has demonstrated qualities of loyalty, patriotism, dependability, good character and leadership.
The George C. Marshall Award
A certificate awarded to the candidate who has demonstrated leadership, scholastic excellence, and overall proficiency and dedication to the Military.
Golden Bear Brigade Nursing Excellence Award
Two plaques - one for the recipient and one that remains at the University - presented to the top-rated ROTC Nursing student selected in competition with twenty-one universities in five states.
Henry R. Morris Leadership Excellence Award
This award is presented annually to the senior cadet who has excelled in all aspects of the ROTC program, and has demonstrated outstanding leadership while working for the welfare and development of his fellow cadets.
Reserve Officers' Association Award
A gold medal and a gift certificate for a dress uniform, to the candidate who is in the top 10% of the ROTC class, and who has demonstrated outstanding qualities of leadership, moral character, and high aptitude for military service.
Retired Officers Association Award
A medal, for exceptional potential for military leadership.
Superior Cadet Award
A medal, a gift of the Department of the Army, to the cadet with the highest academic standing and demonstrated officer potential.
Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S.A.
A medal pendant and ribbon bar for general excellence in Military Science.
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