Awards List

Eagle Awards

To submit a nomination, click here. Nominations will be accepted through Sunday, March 14.


Service/Social Justice:

Leader in Service: This award recognizes an underclassman who has demonstrated exceptional commitment to community service, either locally, regionally, nationally, or globally. The student must have demonstrated outstanding initiative in planning, organizing, and executing community service activities, while also demonstrating the ability to cooperate with other organizations, either on or off campus.

Clara Boyd Wheeler Award:  This is awarded to a graduating senior who exemplifies grace, a spirit of service and the ability to change lives.

Elizabeth M. Baumgarten Service Award: Elizabeth “Liz” Baumgarten Heagy was committed to service as a student here at UMW and helped found Community Outreach and Resources (COAR). This award is given to a senior for outstanding service to the university and community.

Grace Mann Launch Award: The Grace Mann Launch award is given to a graduating senior who is active while at UMW in organizations that promote social justice and equality, social change and/or advocates for victims of sexual assault or prejudice, and who exemplifies a commitment to improving the lives of others through the change of attitudes, behaviors, laws, policies, or institutions; and who is planning to pursue a career in support of those goals and promote equality and/or advocate for victims.

James Farmer Defining A Legacy Award: The late Dr. James Leonard Farmer was born on January 12th, 1920 in Texas. His first remembered experience of racial discrimination was when he was 3 ½ years old, when he asked his mom to buy a coca-cola, she told him they could not go in the store because they were “colored.” He was brilliant and well-spoken, enrolling at Wiley College at the age of 14.

Dr. Farmer dedicated his life to Civil Rights activism and was the founder of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) in 1942 after graduating from Howard University. In 1961, Farmer tested the integration of buses and bus terminals with his infamous Freedom Rides project. He was then determined as one of the Civil Rights’ ‘big six,’ which includes Martin Luther King Jr., Representative John Lewis, Dorothy Height, Whitney Young, and Roy Wilkins. 

Farmer asserted before his passing that the issue of inclusion and equality for black Americans is even harder in a contemporary setting, it is for this reason we reflect on his legacy. The Civil Rights Movement in American memory shows the stratification of the movement into two parts, “between South and North, nonviolence and Black Power militancy, de facto and de jure segre-gation, and the movement before 1965 and after.”  Dr. James Farmer complicated this idea, however, by challenging this expectation by straddling ideas and reassessing his positions over time. This award is awarded to a student, staff, or faculty member who creates a direct action project, overcomes a substantial obstacle, challenges an oppressive system, and spreads their cause. This is the second year of the recognition of this award. 



Alex Naden Award: Alex Naden was a senior class officer who graduated from Mary Washington College in 2003. He was a member of the Rugby team, Giant, and worked in the Underground. But to list Alex’s accomplishments and believe that they convey him is to do him a disservice. What made Alex so special was who he was, not what he did. He made every person he spoke with feel special. He was authentic, he was funny, he was warm and caring, he was an amazing communicator and he always had a smile on his face and a ton of energy committed to everything he did. He lost his life in April 2003 as a result of a car accident. In his honor, we present this award to those who best embody the character that Alex so willingly and exceptionally personified.

Prince Woodard Emerging Leader Award: This award is for individuals who have stepped up and taken on leading roles in their organization. It is limited to rising sophomore, juniors, or seniors only.  Eligibility is not limited to titled positions. Nominees for this award can be from SGA, another governance body (ex. Honor Council, Student Conduct Review Board), or any club or student organization. Students have to show tremendous leadership capacity or ability in their organization. Examples include helping to plan successful programming or events that benefited the club, organization, or campus as a whole. The student must maintain a 3.25 GPA or higher to be eligible for this award. The winner will receive a monetary award.

Prince Woodard Outstanding Leader Award: This is awarded to a graduating senior belonging to any campus organization who has demonstrated outstanding leadership skills while involved in the organization. Nominees for this award can be from any campus club or organization and did need to have held a formal leadership position.  The member has been instrumental in helping the organization work towards its mission as well as help plan and conduct successful programming.  This is the highest leadership award and therefore the individual’s contribution must have been exceptional to be considered. The student must maintain a 3.25 GPA or higher to be eligible for this award. The winner will receive a monetary award.

Unsung Hero: This award recognizes a student whose actions positively impacted their club, organization or the university while a member, but not serving in a formal leadership position. This award focuses on students who took the initiative throughout the year to help their club or group achieve their goals from behind the scenes.

Awards Determined by the Alumni Association:

Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Senior:  This is awarded to a senior who has demonstrated an outstanding combination of academic excellence, leadership, and service to Mary Washington. (The awardee is selected by a separate committee after eligible students are offered the opportunity to apply by the Alumni Office. This includes students in the top 10% of their class based on GPA.)

Alumni Association Service Award for Outstanding Senior Dedicated to Community Service:  This is awarded to a senior who has demonstrated academic excellence, leadership, and service to Mary Washington and the Fredericksburg community. (The awardee is selected by a separate committee after eligible students are offered the opportunity to apply by the Alumni Office. This includes students in the top 10% of their class based on GPA.)

Bachelor of Liberal Studies (BLS) Award:  This award recognizes a student enrolled in the BLS program for academic excellence as well as outstanding citizenship. (The awardee is selected by a separate committee after eligible students are offered the opportunity to apply by the Alumni Office. This includes BLS Degree candidates who have at least 30 credit hours at UMW and at least a 3.2 GPA.) 



Giving Tree Award Any current faculty or staff member who is actively involved with the student body of the University of Mary Washington is eligible for this award. The faculty or staff member must be nominated by a student currently enrolled at the University of Mary Washington. The faculty/staff member’s role can be, but is not limited to, an advisor to a student organization, a mentor to students, a speaker, or participant in a student organization program. NOTE: While a faculty/staff member can be nominated every year, they can only receive the award once every four years. 

CRITERIA: Nominees of the Giving Tree Award will be evaluated on the following criteria – all faculty and staff members must:

  • Show dedication to enhancing the quality of student life at UMW;
  • Enhance the support and growth of students and/or student organizations at UMW;
  • Serve as a role-model for students and a resource for the UMW community;
  • Actively participate in student events;
  • Act ethically and with integrity;
  • Serve as an advocate for the students; and,
  • Provide a new and significant contribution to the UMW community that has not previously existed.


For the 2021 Eagle Awards:

Program Highlight: Due to the challenges brought on by the pandemic, and the associated limitations around programming, we have chosen to forego program and organization awards, as we want to highlight the many wonderful initiatives and efforts that were offered this year by our student organizations. Please let us know a program or initiative you believe should be highlighted during this year’s Eagle Awards ceremony. This can include how you have seen an organization get creative, innovative, or thoughtful with their programming efforts.