Honors in English
Students who meet the prerequisite, define a project, and secure the support of a department tutor and a second reader may elect to take English 483, 484, the Honors Thesis, and, upon successful completion, graduate with “Honors in English.” For further information, go to Honors Thesis.
This honors program permits a limited number of seniors to devote eight credit hours per semester to a project approved by the Independent Study Committee and pursued under the guidance of a faculty member. Students applying to the Senior Scholars Program will normally be expected to have a grade point average of at least 3.3 in their major. Students submit a midyear report on the project; their final report is judged by three faculty readers. Upon successful completion of the program with a minimum grade of B+, the senior scholar’s report is deposited in the College library. Application must be made during the student’s junior year. Inquiries should be directed to the committee chair.
English Department Awards
Solomon Gallert English Prize – Prize for excellence in English
This prize was established in 1929 by Mrs Joseph L. B. Mayer in honor of Solomon Gallert, Class of 1888. Gallert was born in Waterville but later moved to North Carolina where he remained for the rest of his life, embarking upon a career in law and politics. He was elected to the state senate in 1920, and also argued several cases before the state supreme court. Throughout his life, Solomon Gallert depended on his ability to communicate clearly and effectively.
Hilda M. Fife Literary Prize – Prize to a student of literature of any language
This prize was created in honor of Hilda M. Fife ’26. Fife received her Masters and Doctorate degrees from Cornell University before becoming a professor of English at the University of Maine. She loved Colby College and is said to have attended every reunion. This literary prize comes from her love of literature and her life-long teaching.
Distinction in the Major
This category of honors may be awarded to a student on the specific recommendation of the department. To be considered for the award, the student must have at least an average of 3.25 in the major; many departments stipulate a higher average in the major.
The degree of bachelor of arts with honors is awarded in three grades: summa cum laude to those whose grade point averages are within the top 5 percent of the graduating class; magna cum laude to those within the top 10 percent; and cum laude to those within the top 20 percent.
Phi Beta Kappa
In American colleges, election to Phi Beta Kappa is considered the highest undergraduate honor. This society, founded in 1776, restricts its chapters to leading colleges and universities and maintains high scholastic standards. The Beta Chapter of Maine was organized at Colby in 1895. Phi Beta Kappa certificates may be awarded to members of the three lower classes for distinction in scholarship.