University Awards at Commencement
The University of San Francisco recognizes students who have distinguished themselves in scholarship, service, and loyalty to the University with the following awards. Such awards are not necessarily given each academic year or at the commencement exercises.
University-Wide Student Awards
Alumni Relations Awards
The Alumni Board of Governors Award
A University of San Francisco commemorative pen, the gift of the Board of Governors of the University Alumni Association, awarded to the senior distinguished for dedicated services to the University and to the Alumni Association.
The Alumni Loyalty Award
A University of San Francisco commemorative pen, the gift of the Board of Governors of the University Alumni Association, awarded to the senior who has demonstrated distinction and loyalty to the University and to the Alumni Association.
The Charles L. Harney Award
A plaque, the gift of Richard A. Parina, '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.
Bill Russell Award - Outstanding Male Athlete of the Year
Awarded annually to a male student-athlete who has distinguished himself for outstanding athletic performance.
Anne Dolan Outstanding Female Athlete of the Year
Awarded annually to a female student-athlete who has distinguished herself for outstanding athletic performance.
Four Pillars Award
Awarded to a male and female graduating senior who attains the highest standards of athletic performance, academic achievement, community service and leadership.
Stephen Privett, S.J. Award
Awarded to a student-athlete or team who has demonstrated commitment to a higher standard of learning and social justice through their outstanding work in the community.
Dante Benedetti Award
Awarded to a male and female student-athlete who serve as an inspiration to their teammates through their unwavering sense of loyalty, self sacrifice, unselfishness, positive attitude and hard work.
Newcomer of the Year
Awarded to a male and female first-year student-athlete who has excelled in competition.
Carpe Diem Award
Awarded by the student-athlete performance team, the Carpe Diem Award recognizes a male and female student-athlete who have been committed to and excelled in the areas of strength and conditioning, nutrition, wellness and mental performance.
Spirit of ‘51 Award
Presented to a USF team that embodies success both on the field and in the classroom by creating leaders who are ready to make an impact in the world. The award will be given in honor of USF’s undefeated, untied and uninvited 1951 football team, whose supreme triumph came in it’s stand against racial inequality.
Office of the President Awards
The Pedro Arrupe Award
Granted by the University president, this award 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 Spirit of St. Francis Award
Granted by the University president, this award 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.
Office of the University Registrar Awards
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 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.
Theology and Religious Studies Award
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.
University Life Awards
The Archbishop Oscar Romero Award
Recognized for his ability to become a voice for the voiceless while the Archbishop of San Salvador, the Archbishop Oscar Romero Award is presented to an undergraduate or graduate student who strives to alleviate poverty and oppression.
The Hilary Williams Ford Award
Recognized for his contributions and commitment to his field and the University of San Francisco, the Hilary Williams Ford Award is presented to a graduate students who has initiated positive changes in the field.
The James F. Kenney Memorial Award
A purse, in recognition of a student who has overcome difficult circumstances in his or her life with grace, courage, and strength and whose example is an inspiration to others. The award is in honor of Jim Kenney, a student at USF in the 1950s who was born with a severe physical disability and whose joy of life and daily courage, in spite of this handicap, won him the admiration and respect of all who knew him.
The John P. Schlegel, S.J. Award
Established in recognition of his work in creating an inclusive community, the John P. Schlegel, S.J. award is presented to a graduating student who has embraced the multicultural objectives of the University's mission.
The Priscilla A. Scotlan Award
Established in recognition of Priscilla A. Scotlan's unselfish dedication and service to the University of San Francisco, the Priscilla A. Scotlan Award is presented to a graduating student who has been an "ambassador" for the University community.
College of Arts and Sciences Awards
The ACS USF Student Chapter Achievement Award
An inscription on the award plaque, to the graduating student affiliate of the American Chemical Society Student Chapter of the University of San Francisco, in recognition of outstanding service to the Society and to the Department of Chemistry.
The Batey Prize
A purse, a gift of the Batey family, to the most outstanding graduating senior in mathematics.
The Communication Studies Outstanding Student Award
A plaque, the gift of the Department of Communication Studies, in recognition of outstanding academic achievement in the Department of Communication Studies.
The David Herlihy Prize in History
A purse and plaque, in memory of David Herlihy, '51, HON '85, distinguished medieval historian, former professor at Harvard University, and president of the American Historical Association, in recognition of the best written paper 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.
The Department of History Award
A plaque, a gift of the Department of History, in recognition of the greatest service to the Department in the areas of student activities and faculty support by a graduating history major.
The Department of Politics Public Service Award
A purse, a gift of the Politics Department, to the graduating Politics student who demonstrates the most outstanding service during his or her college years.
The 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.
The Dr. Mel Gorman Award
A purse and an inscription on the Dr. Mel Gorman perpetual trophy, 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 Edward L. Kesel Award
A purse and a plaque, in honor of the late Dr. Edward L. Kesel, long-standing faculty member and department chair of the Biology Department, to the graduating Biology major with proven academic excellence, high potential for a career in the biological sciences, and who has demonstrated leadership and support within the Biology Department.
The English Department Service Award
A plaque, given to a graduating senior by the English Department faculty, in recognition of his or her outstanding service and support to the department, its students, and visitors.
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 Gender and Sexualities Studies, to the graduating senior whose academic excellence and commitment to social justice exemplify Esther's spectacular gifts to USF 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 in recognition of exceptional academic achievement and outstanding professional development in Media Studies.
Dick Blake Award for Excellence in Student Journalism
A purse and a certificate, gifts of Gabrielle Blake, in memory of her husband, Dick Blake, class of 1941, to a graduating senior in recognition of outstanding accomplishments as a student journalist.
The Frank L. Beach Award
A purse and a plaque, 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 Kathileen A. Gallagher Award for Performing Arts and Social Justice
An inscription on the award plaque and a purse, given by the Department of Performing Arts, in honor of long standing faculty member Kathileen A. Gallagher, to the graduating senior who best reflects the spirit of performing arts and social justice.
The Mauricio Romero Award
A purse, a gift of Elizabeth Romero, to a graduating Politics Department senior who has demonstrated excellence in both academics and community services.
The Ralph Lane Peace & Justice Essay Award
A purse, a gift of USF Emeritus Professor Ralph Lane and Joan Lane, is given each year to the student who writes the best essay on a peace and justice theme, broadly defined.
The Robert M. Makus Memorial Service Award
A certificate and gift, in memory of Robert M. Makus, former Professor of Philosophy, to the students who make the greatest contribution to fostering the Philosophy Department's intellectual community, thereby continuing the legacy of Professor Makus and making his vision of the Department come to life.
The Ruth Aubrey Award
A plaque and a purse, gifts of the Honors Program faculty, in memory of Ruth Aubrey, beloved secretary of the Honors Program in Humanities, to the graduating senior in recognition of his or her outstanding performance.
The Sociology Paper Award
A purse and a certificate, in recognition of an outstanding research paper or analytic essay written by a graduating senior majoring or minoring in Sociology.
The Sport Management Academic Achievement Award
A plaque, a gift of the Sport Management Program directors and faculty, to the member of the graduating class who has earned the highest scholastic average throughout his or her entire graduate program.
The Sport Management Distinction Award
Plaques, gifts of the Sport Management Program directors and faculty, to the members of the graduating class who have completed a Master's project and are graduating with distinction.
School of Management Awards
The A.A. Berti Award
An inscribed desk set, the gift of A. Russell Berti, '26, JD/LL.B, '28, in memory of his father, Augustin B. Berti, to the graduating senior in the McLaren School of Management who has earned the highest record of scholarship.
The Dean's Medal of Excellence
A medal and a purse, gifts of the McLaren School of Management, to the graduating senior who has best exemplified in academic accomplishments, extracurricular work, and personal life the values of the University of San Francisco in its mission and goals.
The Dean's Service Award
A plaque, given to a graduating senior in the undergraduate management program who has demonstrated superior academic performance and outstanding service to the School of Management and to University student life.
Dean’s Medal of Excellence in Scholarship
An award is given to a graduating candidate of the Masagung Graduate School of Management, who exemplifies leadership through professional and academic development, aligning with USF’s mission and values. All nominees must rank in the top 5% of their respective program to be eligible.
Dean’s Student Life Award
An award is given to a graduating candidate of the Masagung Graduate School of Management who has shown commitment and outstanding service to the students and programs in the School of Management through extracurricular work, student involvement and commitment to fellow students and USF’s mission and values.
Outstanding Public Service Award
An award is given to a graduating candidate of the Masagung Graduate School of Management based on his or her demonstration of superior academic performance, outstanding service to the community, and promotion of social justice and USF’s mission and values.
The Graduate Business Association Award
Plaques, given by the Graduate Business Association, to the graduating MBA students who have been recognized by their peers as providing outstanding service to the Masagung Graduate School of Management Master of Business Administration Program.
School of Education
The Dean's Service Award
A certificate, presented to graduating students in recognition of their outstanding contributions to enhancing and fostering positive relations and providing service to fellow students, faculty, administrators, and alumni of the School.
The 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
Certificates presented by the faculty of the Teacher Education Program to students who by competence, caring, and commitment exemplified the best qualities of today's teacher.
School of Nursing and Health Professions Awards
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 and Health Professions.
The 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 and Health Professions 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.
Military Science Awards
The American Legion Award for Military Excellence
A gold medal, the gift of the American Legion, to the cadet who, while achieving academic proficiency, has demonstrated outstanding qualities in military leadership, character, and citizenship.
The 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 outstanding qualities of leadership.
The 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.
The Daughters of the American Revolution Medal
A gold medal, the gift of the Daughters of the American Revolution, 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 Distinguished Military Graduates
Awarded to cadets who are in the top third of the class nationally.
The George C. Marshal Award
A certificate awarded to the candidate who has demonstrated leadership, scholastic excellence, overall proficiency, and dedication to the military. (The awardee may not be a USF student.)
The Golden Bear Brigade Nursing Excellence Award
Two plaques, one for the recipient and the other for the recipient's university, presented to the top-rated ROTC Nursing student selected in competition with 21 universities in five states. (The awardee may not be a USF student.)
The 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.
The Professor of Military Science Meritorious Service Award
Presented for outstanding contributions as a staff officer, and outstanding performance as a trainer, teacher, and mentor for underclassmen.
The Reserve Officer's 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.
The Retired Officer's Association Award
A medal, for exceptional potential for military leadership.
The Sergeant York Ribbon Award
This award is presented to the senior cadet who, quietly and without fanfare, has labored long and hard behind the scenes, often without recognition, in support of the ROTC program.
The Superior Cadet Award
A medal, the gift of the Department of the Army, to the cadet with the highest academic standing and demonstrated officer potential.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the USA Award
A medal pendant and ribbon bar, for general excellence in Military Science.