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Graduation Awards and Honors

NYU Steinhardt salutes outstanding undergraduate and graduate students who have distinguished themselves through scholarship, leadership, and service.

Arch Award

In 1933, the then-named Student Council of the School of Education established the Arch Award to recognize "outstanding service in undergraduate student activities." Today the Arch Award still carries the spirit of the original award and is presented to both an undergraduate and a graduate student in recognition of the unique and beneficial quality of their cumulative record of service to classmates, the faculty, and the administration of NYU Steinhardt. Complete the Arch Award application. The Washington Square Arch, designed by Stanford White, was dedicated in 1895 as an expression of the City Beautiful movement, which sought to create structures and public spaces in America whose beauty and stature would rival those of the European capitals. In the words of former NYU President John Sexton, the Arch is "the core of the neighborhood for us, this Square, and most magnificently the Arch, which is part of our University symbol."

John W. Withers Memorial Awards

Innovation and change marked the 18 years John Withers served as the 4th Dean of the School Education (1921-1939). The School of Pedagogy became the School of Education in May 1921, and with that change of name followed a reorganization that produced significant innovations in the study of education. The undergraduate division was added in 1922. The faculty increased from 14 in 1921 to 151 in 1938. Dean Withers expanded his staff in 1926 to include two assistant deans to handle instruction and financial affairs. And he supervised the construction of the 12-story Education Building, which opened in 1930, then carefully guided the School through the Depression. The School's enrollment grew from 325 to 8,000 students during Dean Withers' tenure as Dean.

The John W. Withers Memorial Award is presented to one undergraduate and one graduate student in recognition of their outstanding scholastic attainment, and for upholding the highest ideals of service, loyalty, and devotion to the School and their graduating class.

E. George Payne Memorial Prize

The E. George Payne Memorial Prize was first awarded in 1943 "for the best essay on the promotion of mutual understanding among the various denominations of the University." Now the E. George Payne Memorial Award is presented to a graduating graduate student in recognition of outstanding leadership and superior scholarship, and for representing those humanitarian principles as defined by E. George Payne. Enoch George Payne was the 5th Dean of the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development (1939-1945) then know as the School of Education. He was one of our country's preeminent liberal thinkers, whose greatest cause was the recognition and cultivation of minority cultures within our society. He devoted himself to the inclusion of Jewish and African-American culture in American education, particularly at colleges and universities. Dean Payne, a Professor of Educational Sociology, was an early subscriber to the sociology theory of "cultural pluralism and wrote extensively about it. He served on the boards of the NAACP and of the National Council on Naturalization and Citizenship.

The Ida Bodman Service Award

The Ida Bodman Service Award was first awarded in 1949. It is presented to those graduating undergraduates in recognition of their superlative and extraordinary service, exhibiting the highest standard of leadership in School activities. The Bodman Award honors Ida Bodman's commitment and service to her alma mater. A recipient of a Master of Letters in Education in 1904, she went on to develop a Women's Advisory Committee in the School of Pedagogy in 1911 continuing her philanthropic work and assistance to NYU. The Women's Advisory Committee was originally established in 1890 "to prepare for the University Council 's consideration plans and recommendations for the advancement of the University's work for women."

The Samuel Eshborn Service Award

The Samuel Eshborn Service Award was first awarded in 1950. This award is presented to graduating graduate students in recognition of superlative and extraordinary service, exhibiting the value of strong leadership in school activities in NYU Steinhardt.

The Western Scholarship

The Western Scholarship is presented to one undergraduate and one graduate student in recognition of outstanding scholastic attainment and service to the community.

The Richard Hirsch Memorial for Students in the Arts

The Richard Hirsch Memorial for Students in the Arts is presented to one undergraduate and one graduate student in recognition of outstanding scholastic attainment in the arts.

The Letha Hurd Morgan Award

The Letha Hurd Morgan Award is presented to one undergraduate and one graduate student in recognition of outstanding scholastic attainment and service to their department and School.

The Pi Lambda Theta Rho Leadership Award

The Pi Lambda Theta Rho Leadership Award is presented to a graduating undergraduate and a graduating graduate student to acknowledge and celebrate excellence in academic achievement and leadership.

The Outstanding Dissertation Award

The Outstanding Dissertation Award was first awarded in 2005. Granted by the Office of Student Affairs, the Outstanding Dissertation Awards are based on the recommendation of the Doctoral Affairs Committee. Nominations are accepted from the candidate's dissertation committee chairperson and must be endorsed by the entire final oral examination commission.

For further details and deadline information, please contact the Office of Doctoral Studies.

Banner Bearers and Class Representatives

Class Representatives symbolically receive the degree during the NYU Commencement on behalf of the Baccalaureate class and Graduate class.

School Banner Bearers each carry the School's banner for the NYU Steinhardt celebrations and NYU Commencement Exercises.

The Departmental Banner Bearer is chosen for demonstrating spirit through leadership and academic excellence. One student from each department will receive this award, which includes the honor of carrying the department's banner in the School Celebration at Radio City Music Hall.

Latin Honors

Students meeting the requirement of having completed at least 64 points toward the degree (in weighted grades) in residence in the Steinhardt School will be eligible to be considered for Latin Honors. Latin Honors will be determined by GPA distribution, so that:

• Summa cum laude is limited to the top 5% of the graduating class
• Magna cum laude is limited to the next 10% of the graduating class
• Cum laude is limited to the next 15% of the graduating class

View the University Registrar's GPA levels for Latin Honors for this academic year.