W&M's 2009 Commencement awards

  • Thatcher PrizeCullen Drescher received the College of William and Mary's Thatcher Prize for Excellence during the College's Commencement ceremony May 17.

    Photo by Stephen Salpukas

    Thatcher Prize
  • Lord Botetourt MedalKelly Hallinger received the Lord Botetourt Medal from William & Mary President Taylor Reveley during the College's Commencement ceremony.

    Photo by Stephen Salpukas

    Lord Botetourt Medal
  • Carr Memorial CupBryan Jenkins Terrill received the College of William and Mary's James Frederic Carr Memorial Cup from President Taylor Reveley during the College's Commencement ceremony.

    Photo by Stephen Salpukas

    Carr Memorial Cup
  • Thomas Graves AwardThomas L. Heacox, an associate professor of English at the College of William and Mary, received the university's Thomas Graves Award from President Taylor Reveley during the Commencement ceremony.

    Photo by Stephen Salpukas

    Thomas Graves Award
  • Sullivan AwardsThis year's Algernon Sydney Sullivan student awards, which are presented to two members of the graduating class, were presented to Kevin Dua ('09) and Adeela Tajdar ('09) by President Taylor Reveley.

    Photo by Stephen Salpukas

    Sullivan Awards
  • Sullivan AwardSandra J. Wilms received the Algernon Sydney Sullivan for a person with close ties to the College during the university's Commencement ceremony by President Taylor Reveley.

    Photo by Stephen Salpukas

    Sullivan Award

Several awards are presented annually to graduates, staff and faculty members during the William & Mary Commencement ceremony on May 17. Below is a list of the awards that were presented during this year's ceremony by William & Mary President Taylor Reveley. - Ed.

Lord Botetourt Medal
James Frederic Carr Memorial Cup
Thatcher Prize for Excellence
Graves Award
Sullivan Awards -- students
Sullivan Award -- nonstudent


Lord Botetourt Medal

Kelly Hallinger received the College of William and Mary's Lord Botetourt Medal during the College's Commencement ceremony.

The medal was established in 1772 for "the honor and encouragement of literary merit," and it is now presented annually to the graduating senior who has attained the greatest distinction in scholarship.

Hallinger graduated with a near-perfect 3.99 GPA, departmental honors in Biology, membership in Phi Beta Kappa and several other awards. Faculty members praised her work for being on par with the best Ph.D. students, and she has been called a Renaissance-style scientist working at twenty-first century speed, said Reveley during the Commencement ceremony.

"Kelly's astounding record of publication(five manuscripts as well as a paper in the premier journal, Science), her sophisticated approach to research, and her excellence across the liberal arts disciplines are testament to her enormous talent," said Reveley.

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James Frederic Carr Memorial Cup

Bryan Jenkins Terrill received the College of William and Mary's James Frederic Carr Memorial Cup during the College's Commencement ceremony.

The Carr Cup is presented annually to the graduating senior "who best combines the qualities of character, scholarship and leadership."

Terrill double majored in international relations and Russian studies, and he graduated as a member of several honor societies including Phi Beta Kappa. During his time at the College, he was heavily involved in many campus organizations, including the Alpha Phi Omega Service Freaternity, the READ/Adopt-A-Grandparent program, the senior class gift committee, new student orientation and One-in-Four sexual assault peer education group.

"He leaves Williamsburg to become a Fulbright teaching fellow in Russia," said Reveley during the Commencement ceremony. "But perhaps most important, Bryan stands out for his gentle humility and strong moral core. A leader both formally and informally, he represents the very best of William and Mary."

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Thatcher Prize for Excellence

Cullen Drescher received the College of William and Mary's Thatcher Prize for Excellence during the College's Commencement ceremony.

The Thatcher Prize is presented annually to a graduate or professional student of outstanding scholarship, service and character.

Drescher received her J.D. from the William & Mary Law School during this year's Commencement weekend. During her time at the College's law school, Drescher "distinguished herself in all respects," said Reveley.

"Her extensive research and writing, particularly around issues of international bankruptcy, have led to several awards and publication in prestigious law journals," said Reveley.

Drescher was also committed to service and leadership during her time at the College. She founded the Bankruptcy Law Society and was a Spong Justice for the Moot Court.

"Her pro bono activities are a powerful testament to her character and dedication to public service, including more than 160 hours donated to the Commonwealth Attorney's Office on legal matters related to domestic abuse," said Reveley.

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Graves Award

Thomas L. Heacox, an associate professor of English at the College of William and Mary, received the university's Thomas Graves Award during the Commencement ceremony.

The Graves Award recognizes a faculty member each year for sustained excellence in teaching.

Heacox joined William & Mary's Department of English in 1970 and retired this spring. He specialized in British modernism and "has an encompassing knowledge of all thing literary," said Reveley.

Heacox helped establish the College's program in Galway, taught in the Cambridge program six times and advised numerous creative-writing projects, independent studies and theses. He has been invited to speak internationally at locations including the National Portrait Gallery and The Hague, and he was written on everyone from Oscar Wilde to E.M. Forster, said Reveley.

"His students cannot speak highly enough of the breadth of his knowledge or the depth of his passion for the written word," said Reveley. "Professor Heacox, William and Mary has been greatly enriched by your service."

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Sullivan Awards -- students

This year's Algernon Sydney Sullivan student awards, which are presented to two members of the graduating class, were presented to Kevin Dua ('09) and Adeela Tajdar ('09) during William & Mary's Commencement ceremony.

The award recipients are chosen based on their "heart, mind and helpfulness to others."

Dua was the president of the Class of 2009 and was long active in student government at the College. He spent his free time serving as a mentor to high school students. He also recently led a group of students, faculty and staff in breaking the Guinness World Record for the most people performing Michael Jackson's "Thriller" dance in the same place, at the same time.

"Gregarious and personable, Kevin seems to be everywhere on campus, engaging friends and strangers alike," said Reveley. "We recognize Kevin today because of the rich quality of the relationships he's nourished across campus."

Tajdar has noted for her leadership and commitment to diversity. She has been actively involved in the South Sasian Student Association, the Muslim Student Asociation, the Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraterneity and Students Helping Honduras. She also helped engage the community in discussions on diversity through her position as secretary for diversity initiatives for the Student Assembly.

"Adeela touches lives with a spirit and grace and kindness for all, modeling what it means to live in true community with others," said Reveley. "William and Mary is a more inclusive, welcoming place for her having been among us, and we are proud to present her with the Sullivan Award."

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Sullivan Award -- nonstudent

Sandra J. Wilms received the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award for a person with close ties to the College during the university's Commencement ceremony.

During the event, Wilms was noted for her tireless work and energy in the President's Office and as executive assistant to the Board of Visitors. She has worked for five presidents, served 15 rectors, supported 150 members of the Board of Visitors and trained two assistants to the president and secretaries to the board during her time at the College.

She has also served as a member of the Hourly and Classified Employees organization for over a decade, coordinating the assembly and distributing food baskets for employees at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

"Sandy Wilms is an unsung hero of our community who is most deserving of this year's Sullivan Award," said Reveley.

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