Commencement Awards

Awards Presented at Commencement

Each year at Commencement, William & Mary recognizes several of its most outstanding students, faculty, and staff with awards and honors. Members of the campus community are encouraged to nominate worthy individuals in the spring of each year.

The James Frederic Carr Memorial Cup

The Carr Cup is awarded to a graduating senior on the basis of character, scholarship and leadership. The recipient should be a  well-rounded student, having a good standing in all three of these respects, and carrying within the spirit of willingness to sacrifice and  give oneself to a cause. The recipient is chosen by the Commencement Committee during the Spring semester on the basis of letters of  nomination from members of the university community. Nominate a student for the Carr Cup.

The Thatcher Prize for Excellence in Graduate and Professional Study

The Thatcher Prize is given to an outstanding graduate student completing an advanced degree in Arts and Sciences, Education, Marine Science, Business Administration or Law, and is awarded on the basis of scholarship, character, leadership, and service. The recipient is chosen by the Commencement Committee during the spring semester on the basis of letters of nomination from members of the university community. Nominate a student for the Thatcher Prize.

The Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award

The Sullivan Award, given in the form of a medallion, is in recognition of influence for good, taking into consideration such characteristics of heart, mind, and conduct as evince a spirit of love and helpfulness to other men and women.  It is awarded each year to two individuals from the graduating student body and to a third person who has a close relationship to the university (e.g., staff, coaches, campus ministers, etc). The recipients are chosen by the Commencement Committee during the spring semester on the basis of letters of nomination from members of the university community. Nominate a student or staff member for the Sullivan Award.

The Lord Botetourt Medal

Presented each year to the undergraduate student "who has most distinguished him or herself in scholarship." During the spring semester, academic department chairs are notified of undergraduate students whose academic records merit their consideration for the Botetourt Medal. Those department chairs are asked to submit letters of recommendation on behalf of eligible students whom they wish to see considered for this singular honor. Nominate a student for the Lord Botetourt Medal.

Helpful tips for nominations:
  • Be sure to refer to the criteria for each award before drafting a nomination and address how the person you are nominating reflects the relevant criteria.
  • Each nomination must be submitted on a separate form.
  • You may nominate a student for more than one award, and you may nominate more than one person for a given award. You may not nominate a given student for the same award more than once. (In other words, you may nominate Student A for two different awards and you may nominate Student A and Student B for the same award, but you may not nominate Student A for the Carr Cup twice.)
  • Nominations should be informative, citing specific examples as to why the individual would be a worthy recipient.

If you have any questions regarding the nomination process contact: commencement@wm.edu.