University of Vermont

Senior Awards

The following awards are presented at the commencement ceremony in May.

The Mary Jean Simpson Award

Identifies the senior woman who best exemplifies the qualities of character, leadership, and scholarship. The award is named for Mary Jean Simpson, Dean of Women from 1937 - 1954, who displayed her commitment to students, their education, and the community.

The Kidder Medal

Identifies the senior male ranking first in leadership, scholarship, and character. It is named in honor of Fred T. Kidder, an 1880 graduate who received his M.D. degree in 1883 and later served on the University of Vermont Board of Trustees.

The Class of '67 Award

Recognizes a senior student who has satisfied two of the three: (1) active membership in three recognized student activities; (2) University recognition in a varsity athletic sport; and/or (3) election to an office in a recognized student activity. The recipient must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5, be respected by their peers, and be of high moral character.

The Keith M. Miser Leadership Award

Recognizes the student who has been successful in campus leadership endeavors. Keith M. Miser was affiliated with UVM from 1971 until 1988. He began his career here as the Director of Residential Life and was promoted to Dean of Students in 1975. He was what one might call "the student's dean". This award honors Keith's idea of student involvement and recognizes a student who has contributed to the campus through their leadership on campus.

The Elmer Nicholson Achievement Prize

Recognizes a student for whom "emergence" is an overriding characteristic. The Nicholson Achievement Prize recognizes the greatness of the student's total UVM experience and, based on that greatness, there is an expectation that the student will make a major contribution in their field of interest. Elmer Nicholson, Class of 1939, received the Wasson Athletic Prize in his senior year.

Katherine Anne Kelly Award

This award recognizes a graduating senior who best exemplifies Kate’s ability to bravely battle very serious medical challenges while still graduating and engaging in UVM student life with passion, energy, and a smile. This award honors Katherine Anne Kelly, Class of 2000, who passed away in 2014 following a heroic battle with Cystic Fibrosis.