James Monroe Prize in Civic Leadership

Established in 2005, the Monroe Prize is awarded to a student who has demonstrated sustained leadership of an unusual quality, leadership combined with initiative, character and an unfailing commitment to leveraging the assets of the William & Mary community to address the needs of our society.

Prize Recipients
Recent award recipients of the James Monroe Prize in Civic Leadership
2020 - Kathryn Monfalcone '20
Award citation

The James Monroe Prize in Civic Leadership honors an undergraduate who, in the spirit of James Monroe, has demonstrated sustained leadership combined with initiative, character and an unfailing commitment to the ethic of service. 

Kathryn Monfalcone, Class of 2020, your commitment to service and leadership started the second you stepped foot on this campus and in Williamsburg. You have not only demonstrated active citizenship through many different volunteer experiences, but you have also been a catalyst of innovation and leadership that has inspired your peers and members of the local community. 

As a volunteer in the community, you have been engaged in mentoring elementary and middle school students, fundraising to support UNICEF and the ALS Association and leading others by serving as student president of W&M’s Circle K International chapter. Your commitment to engaging with others in the community has touched many lives and has inspired others to join your efforts. 

When you saw that there was not a service outlet for middle school students – a significant gap within the family of service learning programs in the Williamsburg community – you stepped forward. In collaboration with W&M’s Circle K International advisor and the Kiwanis Club of Williamsburg, you acquired sponsorship and funding to establish a service-learning program at Berkeley Middle School.  
 
In your own words, “It was incredible to watch the two dozen middle school students excitedly plan their upcoming year’s activities as they brainstormed ways to reduce their carbon footprint, bring an end to bullying and give back to first responders. Watching my hard work come to fruition in the form of a service outlet for passionate children to make a difference in the world was the most meaningful outcome I could have imagined.” 

According to one of your mentors, “Ms. Monfalcone will be the role model young people will look to in the coming years. I can't imagine a greater responsibility and contribution from any William & Mary graduate.” 

As a leader and role model for social justice and community advocacy, you show promise for a lifetime of community engagement and civic action, and embody the qualities recognized by the James Monroe Prize in Civic Leadership. The university is proud to honor you with this year’s James Monroe Prize in Civic Leadership

2019 - Florence "Flo" Glynn '19
Award citation

The James Monroe Prize in Civic Leadership honors an undergraduate who, in the spirit of James Monroe, has demonstrated sustained leadership combined with initiative, character and an unfailing commitment to the ethic of service.

Florence (Flo) Glynn, Class of 2019, throughout your time at William & Mary you have been part of various communities and organizations that allow you to fulfill your goals while contributing your gifts of persistence, empathy and reflection. You match your passion for addressing social justice issues with the ability to galvanize others and make things happen.

After participating in a Branch Out alternative break in partnership with an organization that provides support to victims of human trafficking, you and your teammates formed the only anti-trafficking student organization at William & Mary. You went on to co-lead an alternative break with the same organization the following year, facilitating thoughtful conversation and engagement around that issue and its complexity for ten of your peers. As development coordinator on Branch Out's executive board, you serve as a member and secretary of the Mental Health branch of HOPE (Health Outreach Peer Educators), in which you promote wellness through a lens of community support.

Through your involvement in student organizations and community, you have demonstrated a commitment to action paired with reflection, and consistency in following through on your goals. You infuse your value of active citizenship in your various other involvements on campus, and when you see an opportunity to be an advocate, you do so while warmly inviting and mobilizing others to join you.

As Grace Hymel, the advisor of Branch Out commented, “Flo guides our decisions by continuously grounding us in program values of sustainability, mutually-beneficial partnerships, and intentionality. While she does not easily waiver in the face of opposition in relation to an idea she passionately believes in, she is deeply attentive to other’s ideas and seeks mutual understanding.”

Through your involvement in the community, you have specified your personal values and priorities in life as follows: “to grow in active citizenship, to learn from and guide others to fulfill our collective and individual potential to live well and to connect with people, communities, and institutions to create real, positive social change.”

Flo Glynn, you carry forward James Monroe’s legacy of public engagement in service to a larger goal. The university is proud to honor you with this year’s James Monroe Prize in Civic Leadership.

2018 - Jordan Gilliard '18
Award citation

The James Monroe Prize in Civic Leadership honors an undergraduate who, in the spirit of James Monroe, has demonstrated sustained leadership combined with initiative, character and an unfailing commitment to the ethic of service.

Jordan R. Gilliard, Class of 2018, you first began your commitment to community and justice at William & Mary by investigating natural disaster response strategies through the intersecting lens of environmental and racial justice. You continued your engagement with racial justice on campus and beyond through involvement with the university’s chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and as an organizer for Black Lives Matter Williamsburg’s annual conference. As the vice president of the campus NAACP chapter, you organized educational, justice-oriented spaces in response to a growing national dialogue on race.

While your passion and experience in the fight for racial justice was expanding, so was your love of music. As a locally and nationally recognized vocalist, you found your two loves coinciding during conversations with other students of color who are involved in a cappella at the university. Through these conversations, you helped organize "Real Talk on A Cappella @ WM," a filmed series of conversations about racial justice in the a cappella community. Under your guidance, "Real Talk" gave way to Featuring Lyrics of Other Worlds (FLOW), an a cappella group focused on finding and elevating unique and underrepresented sounds on campus, of which you are now president.

Throughout your different roles and leadership positions, you have prioritized justice and community based in love. When describing your experience with "Real Talk" and FLOW, you say, “Community work is as complex as humans themselves.” It is with deep care that you have taken on project after project to better the William & Mary community through fellowships, the Sharpe Community Scholars Program, the NAACP, Black Lives Matter Williamsburg, FLOW, "Real Talk" and others. You have continued to face issues with race relations on campus and in the music community head on. Through your actions and words, you have shown us that the communities we are striving to build need to be built on love, not fear.

Jordan Gilliard, you carry forward James Monroe’s legacy of public engagement in service to a larger goal. The university is proud to honor you with this year’s James Monroe Prize in Civic Leadership.

2017 - Daniel Delmonaco '17
Award citation

The James Monroe Prize in Civic Leadership honors an undergraduate who, in the spirit of James Monroe, has demonstrated sustained leadership combined with initiative, character and an unfailing commitment to the ethic of service.

Dan Delmonaco, Class of 2017, early on in your time at William & Mary, you became involved with Campus Buddies – a group that connects students to children and teens with special needs, participating in art and sports activities together. You took on leadership roles in the organization to increase its outreach efforts, and cultivated leadership among younger club members who are now leading the organization and moving those goals and ideas forward.

Since then, your commitment to community engagement at William & Mary has been marked by your constant efforts to include others and build up leadership that would thrive beyond your time at the university. Your value of inclusion is demonstrated best by your contributions to the William & Mary Mattachine Project, an interdisciplinary research project focused on the LGBTIQ history of Virginia. As a team member and research fellow, you conducted interviews with LGBTIQ alumni, expanding beyond the majority representation of older gay white men to include other members of the community’s voices in the Special Collections catalogue. As a teaching assistant for a Sharpe seminar, you passed those skills on to the next round of student researchers.

As president of Alphi Phi Omega, a co-ed service fraternity, you served as a resource for service and leadership opportunities for over 160 members of APO, finding projects that ignited their passions. You also began a relationship between APO and the William & Mary Police Department to improve the sustainability of Campus Escort, a nightly safe ride program staffed completely by APO volunteers. When requests for services tripled, you collaborated with Chief Deborah Cheesebro to secure WMPD’s support. Through those efforts, this vital service is on more solid standing. You have been praised by APO advisor Lauren Garrett for your “welcoming and open leadership style,” focusing on “inspir[ing] the membership to think beyond what had always been done and to consider, instead, what needed to be done.”

Dan Delmonaco, you carry forward James Monroe’s legacy of public engagement in service to a larger goal. You display true commitment, sound judgment, caring and enthusiastic leadership, and a sense of maturity beyond many of your peers. The university is pleased to honor you with this year’s James Monroe Prize in Civic Leadership.

View more recipients of the James Monroe Prize in Civic Leadership.