Scholarships and Awards

Departmental scholarships and awards are introduced below. For application information and a link to the online application form, see the “Applications” section at the bottom half of this page. 

Scholarships

The Department awards five scholarships annually through competitive application for history and American studies majors.

Priscilla Wilson Ashton ’45 Scholarship

  • This endowed scholarship has been created at the University of Mary Washington through a
    bequest from the estate of Priscilla Wilson Ashton ’45. Priscilla Wilson graduated from Mary Washington College in 1945. She went on to take classes at Cornell, Columbia and the University of Maryland. She married Thomas Ashton and they raised two children, Charlotte and Tom. She was an active community volunteer involved with the Parent Teacher Association, the American Red Cross and Scouting. Pris, as she was affectionately called by friends and family, was firmly committed to the principle of an undergraduate liberal arts education and fondly remembered Mary Washington as a nurturing environment for inquiry, questioning, and learning. She established this scholarship to assist future generations of Mary Washington students to benefit from a similar educational experience. This scholarship shall be awarded to students who have a declared major within the UMW Department of History and is renewable provided that recipients remain in good academic standing. Special consideration shall be given to students from the greater Fredericksburg Virginia area, to include the City of Fredericksburg and the counties of Spotsylvania, Stafford,
    Caroline and King George.

Hamlin A. Caldwell, Jr. Scholarship in History

  • Family members and friends established a scholarship to honor Hamlin A. (“Ham”) Caldwell’s long service as an adjunct member of the faculty of the Department of History and American Studies after his death in 2005. A graduate of the Naval Academy and holder of three patents related to anti-submarine warfare, Caldwell was deeply interested in a wide range of social justice and environmental issues and committed to the open and intelligent discussion of public policies that pertained to them.

William B. Crawley, Jr. Scholarship

  • This scholarship has been established through the generosity of Laurie Mansell Reich, who graduated from Mary Washington College in 1979 with a Bachelor of Arts in History and who was a member of the Phi Alpha Theta International History Honorary Fraternity, Pi Gamma Mu National Science Honor Society and Alpha Pi Sigma National Scholastic Honor Society. She believes that a liberal arts education, particularly the study of history, provides a unique and invaluable perspective on all of the arts and sciences and especially contributes to living an examined life. She established this scholarship in honor of William B. Crawley, Jr., whose consummate teaching and scholarship, as well as his encouragement of critical and independent thinking, have profoundly influenced her as well as several generations of students, not only while at Mary Washington, but throughout their lives.

Oscar H. Darter Scholarship in History by the Class of 1940

  • In honor of their 50th class reunion, members of the Class of 1940 established the Oscar H. Darter Scholarship in History to help deserving students interested in history and world civilization. Professor Darter received the Ed. D. degree from the George Washington University and was chair of the History Department from 1926 until 1960. His history of Fredericksburg’s first century, Colonial Fredericksburg and Neighborhood in Perspective, was published in 1957.

James Farmer Scholarship

  • Established to honor faculty member and civil rights leader James Farmer, Farmer Scholarships are awarded to students who exemplify in daily life, intended career field, and commitment to service to others the ideals espoused by Dr. Farmer, and who, as is the case with both Darter and Vance Scholarships, have a record of superior academic achievement. Established in 1999 by the College’s Board of Visitors, the Farmer Scholarships honor Dr. Farmer’s role in the Civil Rights Movement. Significant in his lifetime as one of the world’s leading advocates of human rights was his founding of the Congress for Racial Equality and leading the Freedom Rides into the Deep South in the 1960s.

Joseph C. Vance Memorial Scholarship in History

  • Dr. William Bryan Crawley, Jr. and Dr. Theresa Young Crawley established this scholarship in memory of Dr. Joseph C. Vance. A World War II veteran who served on submarines in the Pacific, Dr. Vance was a member of the Department of History from 1960 until his retirement in 1987 and was department chairperson for more than a decade during his tenure.

Awards

The Department recognizes students, particularly graduating seniors, who have achieved significant successes in the course of their academic work in history and American studies.

Phi Alpha Theta Award for Excellence in History.

  • The local chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the history honorary society, recognizes the graduating senior with the highest GPA in history with its annual award.

Willie Lee Rose Award.

  • Named in honor of distinguished alumna, historian, award-winning author, and long-time faculty member at Johns Hopkins University, the Rose award is made annually at graduation to the graduating senior who has provided outstanding leadership in the college and community and service to the programs of the department of history and American studies

Joseph Carroll Vance Award for Excellence in Historical Research.

  • Dr. Vance taught in the Department for 27 years and was for 11 years its chairperson. The award which bears his name is awarded to the graduating senior whose thesis is judged to be the best for that year.

Almont Lindsey Award for Excellence in History. 

  • Named in honor of a former faculty member whose service to the College spanned three decades, the Lindsey Award is bestowed annually on a graduating senior in recognition of academic achievement and service to the department.

Glen R. Thomas Award for Excellence in American Studies. 

  • Named in honor of the founder of the American Studies program at the College, the Thomas Award is made annually to the graduating senior with the highest grade point average in American Studies.

 

Applications

Each scholarship application requires a 250-word essay about why one should be considered for that scholarship. See below for more information on the individual scholarships and the application essays. Applications for the 2014-2015 school year are accepted here through Wednesday, April 9, 2014.

ONLINE APPLICATION FORM (2014-2015)

Oscar H. Darter Scholarship in History by the Class of 1940
The Oscar Darter Scholarship honors former faculty member and historian Oscar Darter and is awarded to a rising junior or senior interested in world history and who holds the high standard of achievement demonstrated by Dr. Darter.

Joseph C. Vance Memorial Scholarship in History
The Joseph Carroll Vance Scholarship honors former department chairperson and historian Joe Vance and is awarded to a rising senior who is concentrating in American history. Preference is given to those with financial need.

James Farmer Scholarship
The James Farmer Scholarship is awarded annually to a rising junior or senior major in the Department of History and American Studies. The criteria for the Farmer Scholarship, as stated by the Board of Visitors resolution establishing the award, are:

1. The recipient must maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 or better in his or her major.
2. The recipient will be “an individual who exemplifies in daily life, intended career field, and commitment of service to others the ideals espoused and practiced by Dr. James Farmer through his lifetime as one of the world’s leading advocates of human rights.”

The application for this scholarship requires you to explain why you think you would be a good candidate for the Farmer Scholarship.

Hamlin A. Caldwell, Jr. Scholarship in History
The Hamlin A. “Ham” Caldwell, Jr. Scholarship is awarded annually to a rising junior or senior major in the Department of History and American Studies. The scholarship requires:

1. The recipient have and keep an overall GPA of 3.0 or better in his or her major.
2. The recipient be an individual whose academic work and career preparation reflect the concerns Professor Caldwell expressed for social justice and environmental issues and to the free, open and intelligent discussion of public policies and legislative actions related to them.

The application for this scholarship requires you to explain your career goals and how you think your academic coursework is preparing you to participate in the discussion of public policies that touch on social justice and environmental issues.

William B. Crawley, Jr. Scholarship

The scholarship shall be awarded to a student with a declared major in history. Terms of the selection process are:

1. The recipient have at least a 3.5 grade point average on a 4.0 system in his or her major.

2. Special consideration shall be given to female students.

3. In the event that no applicant completely meets the above criteria, the University shall be permitted to award the scholarship to the student most closely meeting the spirit of the criteria.