Summer 2014 Issue

William & Mary's 2014 Commencement Awards

By Jim Ducibella and Erin Zagursky

Several awards are presented annually to graduates, staff and faculty members during the William & Mary Commencement ceremony in May.

Gabriel Manion ’14, described by one of his nominators as “the hardest working person I know,” received 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. Manion fits the bill.

The Thatcher Prize for Excellence in Graduate and Professional Study was created to honor the 21st Chancellor of William & Mary, Margaret, the Lady of Thatcher. It 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. Andre Buchheister Ph.D. ’14 is the 2014 recipient; a man whose supporters say has distinguished himself as an exemplary student, a successful scientist, a dedicated teacher and an active member of William & Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science and local communities.

The Lord Botetourt medal was established in 1772 “for the honor and encouragement of literary merit.” In contemporary times, it has been given to the graduating senior who has attained the greatest distinction in scholarship. The 2014 recipient is Stephen Cameron ’14. Cameron graduated with a bachelor’s in mathematics and a minor in physics. His honor’s thesis, which an adviser noted was “easily at the graduate level,” required a mix of analysis, number theory, abstract algebra and geometry.

Two graduating seniors are selected to receive the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Awards each year at Commencement for their “characteristics of heart, mind and helpfulness to others.” This year, the student recipients were Rachel Brooks ’14 and Chase Koontz ’14.

Brooks, a public policy major, plans on pursuing a career in public affairs following graduation. “She does more good deeds than anyone I know,” said one of her nominators. The Office of Community Engagement also recognized her this spring with the Tradition of Service Award.

A government major and business minor, Koontz was a career-long campus leader at William & Mary, most recently serving as president of the Student Assembly and as a student representative to the Board of Visitors. It is “impossible to know Chase and not recognize how genuinely he cares about the College of William & Mary and each member of the Tribe,” according to one nomination letter.

Each year, one Sullivan Award is presented to a person with “a close working relationship with the College.” This year, Rev. John Maxwell Kerr, an Episcopal chaplain, was the honoree. “It is the unique combination of his penchant for teaching, hands-on service, and accepting and loving spirit that has helped so many students on this campus thrive,” wrote one nominator.

Two professors received the Thomas Ashley Graves, Jr. Awards for their sustained excellence in teaching: Elizabeth Canuel and John Noell Moore. Canuel is a professor at William & Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science. Moore, a professor of education, has worked with students for more than 40 years, teaching classes at William & Mary on curriculum and instruction.