Prizes – General Scholarship
Abraxas Award: An engraved pewter plate is awarded to the school sending two or more graduates to the College, whose representatives maintain the highest standing during their first year. This award was established by the Abraxas Society, a Bowdoin junior class society that was active from 1893 until 1922. The award is now given by Bowdoin College. (1915)
Sarah and James Bowdoin Scholars (Dean's List): Sarah and James Bowdoin Day accords recognition to undergraduates who have distinguished themselves in scholarship. Originally named in honor of the earliest patron of the College, James Bowdoin III, and instituted in 1941, the day now also honors James Bowdoin's wife, Sarah Bowdoin Dearborn, for her interest in and contributions to the College. The exercises consist of the announcement of awards, the presentation of books, a response by an undergraduate, and an address.
The Sarah and James Bowdoin scholarships, carrying no stipend, are awarded in the fall on the basis of work completed the previous academic year. The award is given to the twenty percent of students with the highest grade point average (GPA). Eligible students are those who completed the equivalent of eight full-credit Bowdoin courses during the academic year, six credits of which were graded and seven credits of which were graded with regular letter grades or non-elective Credit/D/Fail. In other words, among the eight required full-credit courses or the equivalent, a maximum of two credits may be taken Credit/D/Fail, but only one credit may be for a course(s) the student elected to take with the Credit/D/Fail option. Grades for courses taken in excess of eight credits are included in the GPA. For further information on the College's method for computing GPA, consult the section on General Honors.
A book, bearing a replica of the early College bookplate serving to distinguish the James Bowdoin Collection in the library, is presented to every Sarah and James Bowdoin scholar who earned a GPA of 4.00.
Brooks-Nixon Prize Fund: The annual income of a fund established by Percy Willis Brooks 1890 and Mary Marshall Brooks is awarded each year as a prize to the best Bowdoin candidate for selection as a Rhodes scholar. (1975)
Dorothy Haythorn Collins Award: This award, given by Dorothy Haythorn Collins and her family to the Society of Bowdoin Women, is used to honor a student "who has achieved academic and general excellence in his or her chosen major" at the end of the junior year. Each year the society selects a department from the sciences, social studies, and/or humanities. The selected departments choose a student to honor by purchasing books and placing them with a nameplate in the department library. The student also receives a book and certificate of merit. (1985)
Almon Goodwin Phi Beta Kappa Prize Fund: This fund was established by Mrs. Maud Wilder Goodwin in memory of her husband, Almon Goodwin 1862. The annual income is awarded to a member of Phi Beta Kappa chosen by vote of the Board of Trustees of the College at the end of the recipient's junior year. (1906)
George Wood McArthur Prize: This fund was bequeathed by Almira L. McArthur, of Saco, in memory of her husband, George Wood McArthur 1893. The annual income is awarded as a prize to that member of the graduating class who, coming to Bowdoin as the recipient of a prematriculation scholarship, shall have attained the highest academic standing among such recipients within the class. (1950)
Phi Beta Kappa: The Phi Beta Kappa Society, national honorary fraternity for the recognition and promotion of scholarship, was founded at the College of William and Mary in 1776. The Bowdoin chapter (Alpha of Maine), the sixth in order of establishment, was founded in 1825. Election is based primarily on scholarly achievement, and consideration is given to the student's entire college record. Students who have studied away are expected to have a total academic record, as well as a Bowdoin record, that meets the standards for election. Nominations are made three times a year, usually in September, February, and May. The total number of students selected in any year does not normally exceed ten percent of the number graduating in May. Students elected to Phi Beta Kappa are expected to be persons of integrity and good moral character. Candidates must have completed at least twenty-four semester courses of college work, including at least sixteen courses at Bowdoin.
Leonard A. Pierce Memorial Prize: This prize, established by friends and associates of Leonard A. Pierce 1905, A.M. H'30, LL.D. '55, is awarded annually to that member of the graduating class who is continuing his or her education in an accredited law school and who attained the highest scholastic average during his or her years in college. It is paid to the recipient upon enrollment in law school. (1960)