These University of Minnesota Morris awards recognize individuals who demonstrate academic excellence and enrich campus life. At UMN Morris we are proud of the opportunities and access that we provide to our students, and we are even more proud of what they do with those opportunities and access, both while at UMN Morris and long after they graduate. These recognitions—of accomplishments with campus, regional, state, national, and international implications—attest to the wealth of ways in which UMN Morris students, faculty, and staff excel and make their positive marks in the world.
Annual Student Awards
Abbott Award in Physics
Presented to a graduating senior physics major with the greatest potential of achieving a professional career in physics or a physics-related field, the award was established by the late Robinson Abbott, professor of biology from 1961 to 1991, and his wife, Rose Marie, who taught UMN Morris biology courses, to recognize the importance UMN Morris played in their lives. All four Abbott children graduated from UMN Morris, three with physics majors.
Allen W. Edson Award
Presented annually in recognition of contribution to campus life, the Allen W. Edson Award’s recipient is nominated by the student body, faculty, and staff, and chosen by the Student Affairs Committee. The award honors Allen Edson, superintendent of the University of Minnesota West Central School of Agriculture (WCSA) and Experiment Station on the Morris campus from 1947 to 1958.
Alumni Association Teaching Award
The professor recognized for outstanding contributions to undergraduate education through teaching, research and artistic activities, advising, academic program development, and educational leadership is invited to give the opening address.
Alumni Award for Outstanding English Major
This award is presented to graduating English majors whose performances in English classes have been consistently superior and who have made positive contributions to the discipline or major in and beyond the classroom.
American Indian Salt Springs Awards
The American Indian Salt Springs Cultural Award and the Salt Springs Teacher Scholarship are presented on the basis of academic excellence and contribution to the Indian and campus community to outstanding American Indian students who will return to the Morris campus the following academic year. Awards are funded by the Salt Springs Endowment supporting American indian education at Morris.
The Anthropology Research Award is given to an anthropology major who has shown exceptional ability for independent research. The award is given to a student with fewer than 90 credits toward graduation and includes monetary support for conducting research or presenting research at a professional meeting.
Bill and Ida Stewart Award for Racial Justice
This award recognizes faculty, staff, and students who have displayed exemplary service on our campus in support of promoting racial justice, a supportive climate for all people, and positive, lasting change. The recipients’ names will appear on a plaque to be located in the TMC. More than one recipient in the same university affiliation may earn the award.
Brion Dalager Memorial Award
Established by the family and friends of the late Brion Dalager, University of Minnesota Morris music student from 1969 to 1972, this scholarship is awarded annually to students who have demonstrated outstanding ability on a band instrument.
César Chávez Award
Bestowed by the student organization Voces Unidas, the César Chávez Award recognizes a student and faculty/staff member each year for outstanding support of Hispanic-Latinx students.
Presented annually to an outstanding senior on the basis of academic excellence and contribution to campus life, the chancellor of the University of Minnesota Morris makes the Chancellor’s Award selection after consulting with various campus groups.
Chris Berg Memorial Award
This award is presented annually to an outstanding senior majoring in economics who has demonstrated academic excellence in that field by the economics/management faculty in memory of their late colleague.
Chris Berg Memorial Award
Presented annually to an outstanding senior economics major demonstrating academic excellence in that field, this award is presented by the University of Minnesota Morris economics/management faculty in memory of their colleague, Chris Berg, one of UMN Morris’s early economics faculty.
Clemens "Johnny" Brauer Memorial Award
Established by former colleagues and students to honor the memory of Clemens Brauer, associate professor of geology from 1966 to 1981, the award supports geology majors in their educational pursuits at the University of Minnesota Morris by providing financial assistance to cover field camp expenses. Recipients must exhibit academic excellence and plan a professional or academic career in geological sciences.
Edith Rogers Farrell Memorial Award for Undergraduate Research
Established by the family, students, and friends of Edith Rogers Farrell, late professor of French and undergraduate research advocate, the annual award is granted to a graduating senior whose research is judged by a jury of faculty to be excellent.
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is the largest United States exchange program offering opportunities
for students and young professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and primary and secondary school teaching worldwide. The program awards grants annually in all fields of study in more than 140 countries worldwide.
Gieske Academic Award
Offered annually to outstanding political science majors in their senior year, this award is given to students who have exceptional records of accomplishment at the University of Minnesota Morris as well as strong prospects for success after graduation. The award is in memory of Millard Gieske who was a professor in political science for more than 15 years. He served as acting chair of the Division of the Social Sciences, was a respected leader in many professional organizations, and authored many political works.
Gieske Internship Award
This award supports political science students who pursue legislative internships in Washington, D.C., or at the Minnesota State Capitol. It honors the memory of Millard Gieske, Morris professor of political science.
Jay Y. Roshal Award
Presented to a senior student majoring in biology who demonstrates the most promise and interest in a career in the biological sciences, the award is in honor of the late Jay Roshal, professor of biology from 1960 to 1983 and the first University of Minnesota Morris Division of Science and Mathematics chair.
Keith Carlson Memorial Jazz Award
Presented annually to the most outstanding jazz musicians at UMN Morris, this award is given in memory of Keith Carlson by Jack and Ethel Carlson.
Lavender Graduating Student Award
This award is presented to a LGBTQIA2S+ graduating student leader who role-models advocacy behavior in the classroom and campus community.
Lavender Undergraduate Student Award
This award is presented to a LGBTQIA2S+ and/or ally student who is not a graduating student, who but has shown exemplary potential, initiative, and involvement within the LGBTQIA2S+ community on campus and/or the Morris community.
Management/Economics Alumni Award
This award is presented to a graduating discipline senior who has achieved academic excellence and has provided service to the discipline and the Morris campus. It is funded through collective alumni gifts to the management/economics discipline.
Mary Martelle Memorial Award
Presented annually to a student and to a staff member deemed to have made outstanding contributions to the quality of Morris campus life, the Mary Martelle Memorial Award perpetuates the memory of Mary Martelle, senior secretary in the Office of Student Activities from 1965 until her death in 1976.
Mestenhauser Student Award
The Josef Mestenhauser Student Award for Excellence in Campus Internationalization recognizes outstanding student contributions to international education, including internationalizing the curriculum and campus.
*system-wide recognition for students
Mimi Frenier Award in Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies
This award was established by colleagues, students, alumni, friends, and the University of Minnesota Morris Commission on Women and Gender Equity in recognition of Professor Emeritus of History Mariam Frenier’s dedication to UMN Morris and in appreciation for her contributions to the development of the gender, women, and sexuality studies major. It is annually granted to a junior or senior majoring in gender, women, and sexuality studies in recognition of high academic achievement and social, political, and civic activism.
Morris Student Sustainability Champion and Leader Awards
This award recognizes students who have displayed exemplary service to advance campus sustainability conversations and initiatives. The efforts of these student leaders have helped to create positive change with leadership that has been a model to others. Sustainability is a big idea that connects with our liberal arts leadership. These students have asked “big questions” and have worked to find solutions.
Natalie Benoit Memorial Award
Presented to a junior or senior who demonstrates ability and shows promise as a serious art student. Given by George and Joan Benoit, former Morris residents, in memory of their daughter who was an art major studying at Penn State when an accident took her life.
Outstanding Graduate in Psychology Award
The Outstanding Graduate in Psychology Award is given annually to seniors graduating with psychology majors. Recipients who receive this award have excelled in the following areas: scholarship, research experience, and participation in the psychology discipline.
Outstanding Student Leader Award
The Oustanding Student Leader Award is intended to recognize student achievements in student-initiated/student-directed activities. These include the student organizations, committees, and special activities whose events or programs are coordinated with or administered by the Office of Student Activities.
Ray and Dolores Lammers Award in the Language Arts
Established in memory of the late Raymond J. Lammers, professor of theatre, and his late wife Dolores, this award is presented to seniors majoring in and demonstrating outstanding undergraduate careers in one of the following disciplines: theatre, English, world language, or communication, media, and rhetoric. Professor Lammers was one of the first UMN Morris faculty members and figured prominently in the creation of the theatre major and theatre program.
Scholar of the College
Scholar of the College Awards are presented annually to students who demonstrate distinguished contributions to scholarship in one or more of the academic disciplines.
Scholarly Excellence in Equity and Diversity (SEED) Award
Honors and acknowledges diverse students who are doing outstanding work at the University of Minnesota, both in and out of the classroom. Recipients have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to their area(s) of study and engagement with a particular issue of social justice, community, and/or community organization.
*system-wide recognition for students
Senior Class Speaker Curtis H. Larson Award
The Curtis H. Larson Award is conferred upon the graduate chosen as senior class speaker. The selection is made by faculty and graduating seniors. The award was established in memory of the late Curtis Larson, the University of Minnesota Morris’s first class speaker in 1964.
Sociology/Anthropology Book Award
Awarded to an outstanding sociology and/or anthropology student, this honor recognizes academic excellence and active engagement in the fields of sociology and anthropology.
spdf Chemistry Award
The annual spdf Award is given to a senior chemistry major demonstrating outstanding scholarship, potential, and service in chemistry. Chemistry students know that the letters s,p,d,f refer to the internal structure of the atom as determined by experiment and theory. Historically, the letters were nothing but labels for colors of light emitted or absorbed by atoms when the internal structure was unknown.
Ted and Judith Underwood Award in History
This award is presented to a graduating senior with a major or minor in history who has demonstrated distinguished academic performance in history. The award is named for Dr. Ted L. and Judith Underwood. Ted served the University of Minnesota Morris as an outstanding scholar, teacher, and administrator from 1967 until his retirement in 1999. Judith completed a degree in education at University of Minnesota Morris in 1971 and pursued a successful career in education in the Minneapolis area from 1973 to 1999.
William R. Scarborough Memorial Award
Presented annually to a senior in elementary or secondary education, the William R. Scarborough Memorial Award recognizes demonstrated competence and potential for becoming an outstanding member of the teaching profession. The award honors the memory of William Scarborough, former Division of Education chair, who joined the faculty in 1966 and made many contributions to the Morris campus and to public education in Minnesota.