What is the Williamson Medal?

  • 2018 Williamson Medalist Caroline Lawrence addresses her fellow graduates. The Williamson Medal is the highest academic honor a graduating senior can receive. 2018 Williamson Medalist Caroline Lawrence addresses her fellow graduates. The Williamson Medal is the highest academic honor a graduating senior can receive. Image Credit: Deb Grove

Awarded on the basis of a vote by the faculty, the Williamson Medal is the highest student award presented each year at the Commencement ceremonies.  The citation award reads:  "To the member of the graduating class who has, during his or her College career, reached the highest standing in character, leadership, and scholarship."  The award, endowed by Owen Moon, Jr., in memory of former trustee Henry S. Williamson, has been presented annually since 1922.

2018 Recipient Citation

The Williamson Medal is the highest student award presented each year at Franklin & Marshall’s Commencement and is given to the member of the graduating class who has, during his or her senior year, reached the highest standing in character, leadership and scholarship. The medal, endowed by Owen Moon Jr., in memory of former trustee Henry S. Williamson, has been presented annually since 1922. This year, it is awarded to Caroline Lawrence.

Our faculty praise Caroline for her deep social conscience and a burning desire to discover more about what makes us truly human, which have led to her academic research in five distinct disciplines—computer science, psychology, English literature, philosophy and biology.

Caroline, from Ellicott City, Maryland, graduates summa cum laude with a double major in cognitive science and government and honors in cognitive science. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and has earned the College’s Edward S. Reed Prize in Scientific and Philosophical Studies of Mind, as well as the George W. Wagner Prize and the Richard Krouse ’68 Prize for her achievements in the Department of Government. She has been a Hackman Scholar and a Marshall Fellow, and her research with Professor Josh Rottman and a collaborator led to Caroline’s presentation of a paper at last year’s annual meeting of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology.

Caroline has served our campus with distinction. For the last two years, she has been a tutor in the Writing Center and a member of the Act for Humanity Foundation. She has served on the faculty’s Committee on Fair Practices and the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees.

Caroline’s independent research and her honors thesis, under the supervision of Professor Matt Doran, have focused on states of consciousness and electroencephalography, or EEG. She interned during summer 2017 at IBM, studying interfaces of the human brain and computers. She developed software and user interfaces to help patients with locked-in syndrome—characterized as having brain function but lacking full motor control—to communicate with others. She recently acquired a wireless EEG headset to facilitate a study she directed this spring investigating the EEG profile of the conscious state of flow.

Caroline hopes to become an attorney, and based in large part on her research experiences, she plans to focus on alternative dispute resolution in the field of intellectual property, especially biotechnology. She was accepted this spring to some of our country’s most prestigious law schools, including Stanford, Duke, Yale, California-Berkeley, Michigan, Virginia, UCLA, Cornell, NYU and Penn. She will attend Yale, where she will research the implications of neuroscience for the law.

Caroline, your outstanding academic research in a variety of disciplines, your deep social conscience, your extraordinary record of scholarship, and your selfless service to Franklin & Marshall and your fellow students embodies the College’s ideal of “cultivating the whole person” through the development of intellect, character and leadership. Congratulations!

Williamson Medal  Recipients 

2018 Caroline V. Lawrence

2017 Tekla Iashagashvili

2016 Morgan Anna Kincade

2015 Rachel G. Codkind

2014  Michael C. Haines

2013  Alexis Rae Teevens

2012  Judith Stapleton

2011  Chelsea D. Schein

2010  Erik Michael Kelly

2009  Aditi Malik

2008  Laura Beth Michaels

2007  Peter "Pierre" Ofori Ankomah

2006  Stacey Michelle Blanck

2005  Dunuwille Eranda Jayawickreme

2004  Ellen Katherine Baier

2003  Nathan Michael McGovern

2002  Lara Ann Margolis

2001  Amanda J. Rader

2000  Hayley C. Rintel

1999  Nadia Chaudhri

1998  Katherine Anne Hennessey

1997  Aaron M. Griffith

1996  Amil Dasgupta

1995  Donnell Butler

1994  Tricia Joy Vos

1993  Melissa L. Hawkins

1992  Steven P. Scalet

1991  Christopher J. Morabito

1990  Matthew Hieu Tran Bui

1989  Michael J. Lengle

1988  Elizabeth A. Eide

1987  Robert B. Belser, Jr. 

1986  Gary S. Fischer

 

1985  Joseph Daniel Capristo

1984  Evan S. Siegelman

1983  Vanessa Christman

1982  Sara Adams

1981  Eric S. Holmboe

1980  Charles William Omsby

1979  Mark A. Monborne

1978  Jennifer Whiting

1977  Loretta Ann Angell

1976  Deborah E. Cohn

1975  Brian Flaherty

1974  Marc Golden

1973  Judith M. White

1972  Gregg J. Weir

1971  Frederick Goldberg

1970  Charles Henry Woernle

1969  Michael Scheininger

1968  Leslie Lenkowsky

1967  Philip Jeffrey Hay

1966  Harold C. Mathews

1965  David Featherman

1964  Robert Tobin Lasky

1963  Robert J. Kafin

1962  John E. Hambright

1961  John Ward Moore

1960  Charles Deans Crystle

1959  Roger Edwin Bolton

1958  Charles Franklin Smith

1957  Stanley John Dudrick

1956  George John Morgan

1955  Thomas Edward Headrick

1954  John Geist and Phil Long

1953  Richard Nelson Clewell

1952  Karl Guy Klinges

1951  William Harry Rader

1950  John Russell Hughes

1949  Carl Hess Brubaker, Jr.

1948  Emmett Carl Boyle, Jr.

1947  Francis Ellsworth Ringer

1946  Bruce Peale Ryder

1945  Roger Jacob Steiner

1944  Nathaniel Ellmaker Hager, Jr.

1943  Joseph Michael Doughty

1942  Emory Coblentz Swank

1941  Richard Predmore Vaughan

1940  Charles Henry Lecrone, Jr.

1939  Edgar Smith Rose, Jr.

1938  Kenneth Ingvard Greisen

1937  Fred Girvin Hocking

1936  Joseph Nunzio Cascio

1935  John Neal Bethune

1934  John Nevin Schaeffer, Jr.

1933  William Gibney Diffenderfer

1932  John Gorman Walsh

1931  Willliam Gordon Landreth

1930  Elias Hiester Phillips

1929  Charles Russel Zweizig

1928  James Ziegler Appel

1927  Harold Jay Budd

1926  Paul Augustus Kunkel, Jr.

1925  John Calvin Truxal

1924  Robert Cummings Zecher

1923  John Light Atlee, Jr.

1922  Harold Adams