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Scholarships and Awards

See also: Scholarship Application

Undergraduate scholarships and awards are handed out every April at the Department of History Honors Banquet. Applications for awards are due in March. All complete applications will be reviewed by the Undergraduate Scholarships Committee and the committee’s decisions will be sent to applicants by mid April. If you have any questions regarding the application process for undergraduate scholarships please contact Mary Beckley at

Undergraduate Awards 

Bruce Wheeler Award                      
This award is named in honor of a recently retired colleague, Bruce Wheeler. Professor Wheeler is an American historian and a legend as an undergraduate teacher. The award named in his honor recognizes academic excellence in a junior who is participating in the department’s honors program.

Leroy Graf Scholarship                    
This award honors Leroy Graf, a former UT history professor who died in 1993. Graf served for many years as department chair, and helped to bring the Andrew Johnson Papers project to UT. In 1973, the university honored him as a distinguished service professor.

Paul Pinckney Endowment                                      
The Paul J. Pinckney Scholarship honors professor Pinckney, a member of the department for more than thirty years and an historian of Tudor-Stuart Britain, specializing in the politics of the English Civil War.  He won many teaching awards, including the Hesler Award for teaching and service to the university and its students. The Pinckney Scholarship fund was created in his honor by Pinckney’s former students, who remember him as a “devoted teacher and friend,” who was “challenging, enlightening, and inspiring.”

Maud Calloway Hayes Award                     
This award honors a junior or senior in our department for academic excellence in the field of American history.

Stephens and Hoffman Award
The Stephens and Hoffman award goes to a history major at any stage of study who has demonstrated academic excellence.  The award is named in honor of J. Wesley Hoffman who taught at UT from 1937 until his retirement in 1965, and Ruth Stephens, a professor of history and political science who retired in 1960 and enjoyed a second career as host of a television program called History Behind the News.

Norman Stanley Smith Award                    
The Norman Stanley Smith Award recognizes an excellent student who is working in any field of history.

J.P. and Gladys Maples Award 
The J.P. and Gladys Maples Scholarship recognizes a worthy history major working in any field.

J. Harvey Mathes Award
The J. Harvey Mathes award recognizes strong academic work by a history major at any level (not given in 2008).

Outstanding Graduating Senior 
This student is chosen by the department as the year’s top history student. Nominations are solicited from among the faculty, and the Undergraduate Committee makes the final selection.

The Bryan-Groce Public History Award is given to an undergraduate or graduate student who has demonstrated exceptional promise in the field of public history, including work in museums, historical societies, archives, libraries, historic preservation, or other related activities.The award is named in honor of two graduates of the UT History Department who went on to distinguished careers in public history: Dr. Charles Bryan, former president and CEO of the Virginia Historical Society, and Dr. W. Todd Groce, president and CEO of the Georgia Historical Society.

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