Academic achievement prizes, prize scholarships and other recognition of student accomplishments were awarded at Hamilton's 61st annual Class & Charter Day convocation on Friday, May 6, in the Chapel. Among the top prizes, Hannah Schacter ’12 was awarded the Milton F. Fillius Jr. /Joseph Drown Prize Scholarship, and Mary Phillips ’11 was named the recipient of the James Soper Merrill Prize.
Hannah Schacter, a psychology major and dean’s list student, is a Writing Center tutor. The Milton F. Fillius, Jr. /Joseph Drown Prize Scholarship, established by the Joseph Drown Foundation, is awarded to a student completing the junior year who has been very successful academically, who has demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities while at Hamilton and who is likely to make a significant contribution to society in the future.
Mary Phillips is a comparative literature and Hispanic studies major. She was recently awarded a Thomas Watson fellowship for her project “Safe Spaces: All-Girl Environments and Their Role in Community Development.” She is senior fellow for Hamilton’s Community Outreach and Opportunity Project (COOP) where she serves as a liaison between student service organization and COOP administrators. Phillips co-chairs Alternative Spring Break and led a volunteer service trip to Washington, D.C. this year.
The James Soper Merrill Prize is awarded to the member of the graduating class "who, in character and influence, has typified the highest ideals of the College." The winner is selected by the faculty and speaks at Commencement.
A total of 151 students won other prizes and scholarships for public speaking, writing and achievement in all academic disciplines.
This year’s speaker was Edmund A. LeFevre Professor of English Emeritus and Lecturer in English John H. O’Neill whose talk was titled “‘A Nest of Singing Birds’: Writers at Hamilton.” O’Neill noted that “Hamilton College is a place where writers have always thrived,” and called to mind some of the great writers of Hamilton, including Ezra Pound, Natalie Babbitt, Peter Cameron ’82 and Agha Shahid Ali.
An all-campus picnic followed the awards and HamTrek, the eighth annual campus triathlon took place with individuals and teams competing in swimming, biking and running.