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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.

Cynthia Griggs Fleming Award for Excellence in African-American History

This award honors the department’s first and longtime historian of the black American experience. In 1982, Fleming, the first black woman to earn a Ph.D. in history from Duke University, became one of the first two black women faculty members in the UTK College of Arts and Sciences and the first black woman professor in the history department. During her 32-year tenure at the university, Fleming taught and mentored hundreds of students and oversaw the substantial growth of the Afro-American (now Africana) studies program as its chair from 1987 to 1997. A distinguished historian of the civil rights movement and oral history specialist, Fleming retired from UTK at the rank of Professor Emeritus in May of 2014.

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.

Bryan-Groce Public History Award
This 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.

John H. Morrow, Jr. Award for Excellence in Military History
The Morrow Award is given annually or biennially to an outstanding undergraduate or graduate student in military history. The honoree receives a certificate, a monetary award, and a collection of classic texts in military history. This award is named in honor of the department’s first black faculty member and chair. In 1971, Dr. Morrow made history when he became the first African-American faculty member in the UTK College of Arts and Sciences. During his seventeen-year tenure at university, Morrow was selected as a National Alumni Association Outstanding Teacher and UTK’s first African-American Macebearer, the highest honor that a faculty member can receive. In 1983, Morrow became the university’s first African American departmental chair. He served as the head of the history department until his departure from the university in 1988. A distinguished historian of modern Europe and World War I, Dr. Morrow is the author of six books and edited collections, including The Great War in the Air: Military Aviation from 1909 to 1921 (1993 [2009]), which is considered the definitive study of air power in the First World War.