Student Awards and Prizes

The Philosophy Department has four awards:

The Edward Dodd Award

The Edward Dodd Award is awarded to the graduating senior with the best Honors Thesis. The award may be shared.

The Edward Dodd award is given to the graduating senior who, in the study of philosophy, shows most clearly the qualities demonstrated by Edward Allen Dodd Jr., Class of 1967. Among these qualities are academic excellence motivated by concern for ideas for their own sake, vigor in intellectual pursuit and resilience in the face of criticism, goodwill toward others encouraging them to higher achievement, and courage in the face of misfortune. The recipient of the award is announced during the commencement exercises, and the recipient's name is engraved on a memorial plaque in the philosophy seminar room.

Recent awardees:

  • 2023 John Coleman ("J.C.") Ward
  • 2022 Maximilian J. Gebauer
  • 2021 Daniel Wetterhahn
  • (2020 not awarded this year)
  • 2019 Benjamin J. Fleenor
  • 2018 Kiera S. Judge
  • 2017 Austin W. Piatt
  • 2016 Edward Corcoran and Stephanie Foster
  • 2015 Elizabeth Christian
  • 2014 Zain Raza
  • 2013 Nathaniel Reisinger
  • 2012 Ian Sturdy
  • 2011 Melissa Beth Henzel and Shea Musgrave
  • 2010 Grace McGee
  • 2009 Robin Zheng
  • 2008 Adam Hockensmith and Jessie McCormack
  • 2007 Yujia Song
  • 2006 Derrick Barksdale and Allan Gallis
  • 2005 Kate Houren, Dustin Jacobson, and Susan Somers

The Young Scholarship

The Young Scholarship, previously awarded to the graduating senior with the best Senior Thesis, is awarded to the major or minor with the best paper in an upper-level philosophy course. The scholarship may be shared.

The Young Scholarship, endowed by Henry Young of New York, is conferred upon the student attaining the highest record in a selected course in philosophy.

Recent awardees:

  • 2023 Nafisa Jeb
  • 2022 Tiffani L.Thomason
  • 2021 McKenzie Koch
  • 2020 Maxmilian J. Gebauer
  • 2019 Jake S. Sirota
  • 2018 Seisha P. Carrier
  • 2017 Zachary J. Taylor
  • 2016 Bruce McCuskey
  • 2015 Julia Gaede
  • 2014 Andrew Seredinski
  • 2013 Elizabeth Brassfield
  • 2012 Reilly Kidwell and Taylor Melanson
  • 2011 Abby Urquhart
  • 2010 Stephanie Schaefer
  • 2009 Jasmine Hart
  • 2008 Kathryn Krall
  • 2007 Nick Collins
  • 2006 Lisa Johnson
  • 2005: Carolyn Harrold

The Charles Thomas Boggs Prize in Philosophy

The Charles Thomas Boggs Prize in Philosophy is awarded to the graduating senior with the best thesis or paper on a major figure or subject in philosophy that has been taught by the late Professor Chuck Boggs, Class of 1966 and Professor of Philosophy at Washington and Lee University from 1970 until his retirement in 2007. For more information about Professor Boggs, see here

Among those majors figures and subjects taught by Professor Boggs were Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, ethics and the environment, the philosophy of nature, and philosophy and literature. The prize is in the form of a book chosen by the Philosophy faculty.

Recent awardees:

  • 2023 Tyler Bernard
  • 2022 Maximilian J. Gebauer
  • (2021 not awarded this year)
  • 2020 Katherine R. Ingram
  • 2019 Brittany L. Smith
  • 2018 Austin J. Kinne
  • 2017 Julia M. Wilson
  • 2016 Joshua White
  • 2015 Not awarded
  • 2014 Emily Comer
  • 2013 Emily Zankman
  • 2012 Henri Hammond-Paul
  • 2011 Emmy Mathews

The William Wells Chaffin Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded to students who demonstrate excellence in the annual intercollegiate Ethics Bowl debate competition. The scholarship may be shared.

Endowed in 1970 by friends and a bequest, this scholarship honors a former University professor and debate coach and is intended to assist one or more deserving students who demonstrate excellence, or the potential for excellence, in intercollegiate debate.

Recent awardees:

  • 2023 Windsor Warlick and Carter H. Chandler
  • 2022 Carter H. Chandler and Maximilian J. Gebauer
  • (2021 not awarded this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic)
  • 2020 Clare N. Perry, Charles G. Thomas, and Catherine E. Spencer
  • 2019 Alex L. Farley and Allison E. Rutledge
  • 2018 No prize awarded
  • 2017 Alex L. Farley
  • 2016 Edward Corcoran
  • 2015 Cynthia Lam and Conner Perkins
  • 2014 Miles Abell and Sarah Hugg
  • 2013 Reilly Kidwell and James Spencer
  • 2012 Matthew Locke and Dessie Otachliska
  • 2011 Shea Musgrave and Dessie Otachliska