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2016 Divinity School Presentation of Academic Awards

Founder’s Medalist - Samantha Tashman McGlothlin

The Founder’s Medal for first honors in the Divinity School’s Class of 2016 is Samantha Tashman McGlothlin.

Among the gifts which the University’s founder, Cornelius Vanderbilt, bequeathed to our institution was an endowment for an award to be presented to the degree candidate who has earned first honors for scholarship.The Founder’s Medals have been awarded since 1877, and for this academic year, the medal is presented to a candidate for the master of divinity degree.

Academic Achievement Award - Benjamin Taylor Rawlins and Lucas Frederick William Wilson

The 2016 Academic Achievement Award is presented to Benjamin Taylor Rawlins and Lucas Frederick William Wilson.

With the Founder’s Medal having been presented to a candidate in the master of theological studies program, The Divinity School’s Academic Achievement Award is conferred upon the degree candidate who has achieved a high standard of scholarship while fulfilling the requirements for the master of divinity degree.

The Umphrey Lee Dean's Award - Megan Black and Nicole Monique Malveaux

The 2016 Umphrey Lee Dean's Award is presented to Megan Black and Nicole Monique Malveaux. 

The Umphrey Lee Dean’s Awardwas established by the Class of 1940, in memory of Umphrey Lee—who served as dean of Vanderbilt Divinity School from 1936 to 1939. The award is presented to the student who, in the judgment of our dean, Emilie M. Townesrepresents the vision and the mission of our Divinity School.

The Florence Conwell Prize - Shantell Rene Hinton

The professors of homiletics have chosen Shantell Rene Hinton as the 2016 recipient of the Florence Conwell Prize.

The Florence Conwell Prize - established as a memorial to Ms. Conwell, an assistant librarian for the School of Religion- is awarded to the degree candidate who has distinguished oneself by outstanding work in the discipline of preaching.

The St. James Academy Award - Katelin Ann Fields

The 2016 St. James Academy Award is presented to Katelin Ann Fields.

The Saint James Academy Award was established in 1984 by the Academy during the presidency of Jacob Christian Martinson, Jr., who earned the doctorate of divinity in 1972 from Vanderbilt, and who served as president of High Point University in North Carolina. The award is presented to the degree candidate, who in the judgment of the Homiletics faculty has composed the most outstanding sermon.

The W. Kendrick Grobel Award - Brian Dean Crisp

The Biblical studies faculty select Brian Dean Crisp as the recipient of the 2016 Grobel Award.

The W. Kendrick Grobel Awardnamed in honor of Professor Grobel who taught New Testament and Biblical theology from 1947 until 1965, is presented to the degree candidate who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in Biblical studies.

The J.D. Owen Prize - Gabriel Colin Crooks and Seonwoong Hwang

The 2016 recipients of the J.D. Owen Prize are Gabriel Colin Crooks and Seonwoong Hwang.

The J.D. Owen Prize, endowed in 1875 by the Reverend J.D. Owen of Lebanon, Tennessee, is awarded to the degree candidate who has distinguished oneself through outstanding course work in a Biblical field.

The Luke-Acts Prize - John Wallace Compton IV and Shantell Rene Hinton

The recipients of the 2015 Luke-Acts Prize are John Wallace Compton IV and Shantell Rene Hinton.

The Luke-Acts Prize—established as a memorial to Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Jacob Mattill of Saint Joseph, Missouri, by members of their family—is awarded to students in the professional and graduate programs, who—in the judgment of the professors of New Testament—write the most significant paper on an aspect of Luke-Acts.

The John Olin Knott Award - Dustin Scott Arbuckle, Aaron Hoke Doenges, and Ashley Brooke Rube

The 2016 John Olin Knott Award is presented to Dustin Scott Arbuckle, Aaron Hoke Doenges, and Ashley Brooke Rube. 

The John Olin Knott Award was endowed by Dr. Knott, a Biblical scholar from the nineteenth century who encouraged students “to increase and to disseminate their knowledge of Scripture.” The award is presented to three students who have distinguished themselves by their scholarly writing in Biblical studies.

The Elliott F. Shepard Prize - John Wallace Compton IV

The faculty select John Wallace Compton IV as the 2016 recipient of the Shepard Prize.

The Elliott F. Shepard Prize in church history has been endowed by the four children of Mr. Shepard:Ms. William Jay Schlieffelin, Ms. Shepard Fabbri, Ms. D.H. Morris, and Mr. Elliott Shepard.

The prize is awarded to the degree candidate who, in the judgment of the history faculty, has performed the most outstanding work in the discipline of church history.

The Wilbur F. Tillett Prize - Gabriel Colin Crooks

The 2016 Wilbur F. Tillett Prize is presented to Gabriel Colin Crooks for accomplishments in the study of ethics. 

The Wilbur F. Tillett Prize was established by friends of Professor Tillett, who served as a member of the theology faculty and as dean of the Divinity School from 1886 to 1919. The prize is awarded to the degree candidate who has distinguished oneself in the study of theology or ethics.

The Nella May Overby Memorial Prize - Jeani Rae Rice-Cranford

The 2016 recipient of the Overby Memorial Prize for honors in field education is Jeani Rae Rice-Cranford

The Nella May Overby Memorial Award was endowed in 1993 by the nieces and nephews of Nella May Overby in recognition of her dedication to community service. The award is presented to the degree candidate who has received the grade of Honors in field education and who, in the judgment of the field education faculty, or has enriched the life of a congregation orhas offered significant service through a community agency.

The William A. Newcomb Prize - Alice Claire Brown

The 2016 Newcomb Prize is awarded to Alice Claire Brown.

The William A. Newcomb Prizeestablished in 1987 by an alumnus of the Divinity School—in memory of his grandfather—is awarded to the student, who in the judgment of the faculty, exemplifies Vanderbilt University Divinity School’s paradigm of the minister as theologian and who has earned the grade of Honors for one’s master of divinity degree project.

The Liston O. Mills Award - Sarah Ralston Connette and Shantell Rene Hinton

The recipients of the 2016 Liston O. Mills Award are Sarah Ralston Connette and Shantell Rene Hinton.

The Liston O. Mills Award celebrates the memory of Professor Mills who served as the Oberlin Alumni Professor of Pastoral Theology and Counseling. Professor Mills is remembered for his commitment to reconciling the curricular division between “academic theology” and “practical theology” and for designing an integrative curriculum for the study of religion and personality. The award is presented to a degree candidate for academic distinction in pastoral theology and the study of religion, psychology, and culture.

The Disciples Divinity House Scholar Award - Benjamin Hudson Saunders

The 2016 Disciples Divinity House Scholar Award for academic distinction by students representing the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ is awarded to Benjamin Hudson Saunders

The Robert Lewis Butler Award - Nontombi Naomi Tutu

The 2016 Robert Lewis Butler Award for service and ministry in the African-American church is awarded to Nontombi Naomi Tutu

The Robert Lewis Butler Award, endowed in 2007 in memory of Reverend Butler, an alumnus of the Graduate School of Theology of Oberlin College, is presented to the second-  or  third-year student, who is preparing for ministry in the African American church and who, in the judgment of the dean, supports the Divinity School’s commitment to intentional diversity.

The Bishop Holland Nimmons McTyeire Award - Samantha Tashman McGlothlin and Tamika Danyell Robertson

The executive committee of the United Methodist Student Association select Samantha Tashman McGlothlin and Tamika Danyell Robertson as the 2016 recipients of the McTyeire Award.

In 1873, Holland Nimmons McTyeire, Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, secured funding from Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt to establish a Methodist university "of the highest order that would offer literary, scientific, theological, and professional studies." Vanderbilt University was then founded as a Southern institution with the intention to reunite a country that had become fractured by the Civil War.

Bishop McTyeire would serve as the first president of Vanderbilt University’s Board of Trust, and he declared the Biblical department to be a Schola Prophetarum a School of the Prophets.

In McTyeire’s memory, the United Methodist Student Association of Vanderbilt Divinity School presents an award to the students who best exemplify “the Wesleyan ideals of Christian living through servant leadership.”

The Bettye R. Ford Graduate Student Service Award - Andrew Joseph Martin

The students in the graduate department of religion select Andrew Joseph Martin as the recipient of the 2016 service award.

The Bettye R. Ford Graduate Student Service Award is presented each year to a student in the graduate department of religion in memory of Bettye Ford who was the cornerstone of our graduate department for twenty-nine years—from 1966 until her death in 1995. With her remarkable grace and humor, she selflessly helped faculty and students survive the challenges of academic administration. As much as we depended on her, she became a good friend of the students, faculty, and staff, and she is profoundly missed by those who benefited from her experience and wisdom.

Divinity Student Government Association Service Awards - Shakiya LaVonne Canty, Sha´Tika Brown, David Michelson

Each year the Student Government Association of Vanderbilt Divinity School recognizes a student  and   a member of the administration, faculty, or staff for their services to the Divinity School community.

The recipients of the 2016 community service awards are: 

  • Shakiya LaVonne Canty, student
  • Sha´Tika Brown, program and events coordinator
  • David Michelson, assistant professor of the history of Christianity