Department of History Awards

Students Awards

Every year the History Department holds an awards banquet in April where we recognize the accomplishments of our students and our faculty. These accomplishments include winning departmental awards and scholarships as well as prestigious post-graduation offers, such as admission to the Peace Corps or fellowships for graduate school. 

Outstanding Senior Award
This award is given annually to the graduating senior who has met the highest standards of academic achievement. A plaque inside the History Department Office lists all the recipients since 1975. In 2018, Austin Bannister won this award. The 2019 winner is Colton Richard

Outstanding Future Teacher Award 

This award is given annually to the graduating senior in the Secondary Education History or Secondary Education Social Studies program who most clearly demonstrates the aptitude to be a great teacher. In 2018, Jenny Baker won this award


The Department offers a number of donor-funded scholarships to history majors, generally those going into either their junior or senior year.  Applications for these are typically due in early February. The scholarships are: 

  • Michael & Beverly Asumaa History Ed Scholarship: 2019 winner Kelsey Hibbard
  • Dr. Gene DeLon Jones Scholarship: 2019 winner Kylie L'Huillier
  • Dr. Howard Nicholson Student Teacher Scholarship
  • Ruth Rothmeyer Smitherman Scholarship: 2019 winner William Barnwell
  • Richard Sonderegger Memorial Scholarship
  • Richard O'Dell Scholarship: 2019 winnter James Briseno


Dwight B. Waldo Award
Since 1986 the History Department has awarded the "Dwight B. Waldo Award" to an individual or institution that improves the teaching ability and quality of the History Department through special service to the university or a substantial gift in the form of money, books, documents or artifacts. This award was named after the first professor of history at Northern Normal School (1899-1904). Since 1986 it has been awarded to:

  • 1988: Clifford Maier for hard and persistent work against difficult odds developing the University ArchivesDwight B. Waldo
  • 1989: Martin L. Dolan for establishing the Omicron Mu chapter of Phi Alpha Theta on campus
  • 1991: Msgr. David Spelgatti for donating oral histories and papers on Italian immigration to the University Archives
  • 1994: Willard Cohodas for donating Holocaust materials to the Lydia Olson Library
  • 1996: President William E. Vandament for the extra funds he directed for oral history equipment, summer jobs for students and generally promoting Upper Peninsula history
  • 1999: Thomas G. Friggens for providing summer positions in Living History and museum work for students
  • 2004: Rowena R. Jones for creating the Dr. Gene Jones Scholarship
  • 2004: Grace H. Magnaghi for monetary donations which have covered scholarships, the purchase of the Schoolcraft Papers, and the purchase of most Upper Peninsula newspapers on microfilm for the University Archives
  • 2004: Marion L. Sonderegger for creating the Richard Sonderegger Scholarship and the Sonderegger Symposia
  • 2006: Michael J. Roy
  • 2007: Diane D. Kordich
  • 2019: Russell Magnaghi