Senior Celebration

The Westhampton College Dean's Office and the University of Richmond Alumni Association sponsor an annual dinner for the senior class each spring, to celebrate their forthcoming graduation. Special awards, such as the Distinguished Leadership Awards, are given, based on nominations from the university community, including peers, faculty, and staff. Faculty and staff mentors are invited and their contributions to each student and the college community are acknowledged, and a Westhampton alum addresses the graduating class. Senior Celebration emerged out of the college's historical May Day events.

Award Nominations

We are seeking nominations for awards that Westhampton College gives out annually to graduating seniors, some to Westhampton students only and others to students in both colleges. If the award is open to both colleges, that is indicated after the name of the award in the list below. These awards celebrate many different parts of student life, work, and achievements, representing our student community in its fullness, and we encourage you to nominate students for one, for some, or for all! Encourage others to nominate too. To submit your nomination(s), please fill out the form below. This form will be open from January 22 - February 11, 2024

Please pay close attention to the award description and use your nomination statement to explain why each individual is deserving of that specific award. These statements need not be lengthy, but they should be detailed. One sentence is not enough, but a few sentences can be. We can only consider nominations that provide enough detail for the committee to evaluate the nominee. Please note that a student may be nominated for several awards but those nominations should be submitted individually.

Nominations for the Class of 2024 have now closed. 

Expand All
  • Leslie Sessoms Booker Award

    The Leslie Sessoms Booker Award is given annually to the senior who has typified over many years loyal, enthusiastic, and unselfish service to the campus community…the “good Citizen” undergraduate. It is hoped that this annual award will serve both as a continuing honor for one who has given generously to Westhampton, and as an opportunity to further student-alum awareness and interaction. The principal criterion for selections should be the recipient’s consistent support of Westhampton and its ideals. Consideration should be given not only to recognized leaders (presidents, chairpersons, and holders of other selected positions), but also to those who have been hardworking, reliable, and effective members of our community - to those who have made an outstanding contribution without holding an elected position. The recipient should be a well-rounded student who has managed academic commitments, personal life, and extracurricular interests and has still made a significant contribution to the “Westhampton spirit.” The recipient should have given to the college community the kind of loyal, enthusiastic, and unselfish spark that Leslie Booker provided for alums. A recipient need not have been a major office holder in any given year, nor should the senior year be necessarily the most outstanding “service” year; instead, continuing participation in and enthusiasm for campus affairs and projects should be emphasized.

    For Westhampton students only

  • The Betty Ann Dillon Award

    This award is given to Westhampton student(s) who embody the spirit of Westhampton, taking equal pride in both tradition and progress.  In word and action, these students work to promote the core values of the college in the contemporary world, staying true to our mission to help students become the best versions of themselves as they lead informed, purposeful lives.  They are dedicated to understanding and promoting how innovation and tradition are entwined, and bring this knowledge to bear in their daily lives and in planning for future generations.  This award honors Betty Ann Allen Dillon, a distinguished graduate of the University of Richmond, who completed her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sociology and psychology in 1949.  Notably, she began her studies in 1945-46, which was the last year of the tenure of the first dean of Westhampton College, Dr. May Lansfield Keller.  Betty Ann was a steadfast volunteer for the University of Richmond in countless roles, so that she has known and worked with every dean in Westhampton’s history.  Betty Ann had a long and impressive career as a licensed psychologist and human resources consultant, and was a member of the University’s Board of Trustees, having received the Trustees’ Distinguished Service Award in 1983. She also served on the Westhampton and University’s Alumni Association boards for many years.

    For Westhampton students only

  • Clara M. Keith Award for Outstanding Student Government Service

    The Clara M. Keith Award was established in 1978 by alums active as student leaders during Ms. Keith’s term as Dean of Students, 1964-1976.  The award recognizes a committee or an individual who has shown creative, imaginative, or outstanding work in developing or enhancing a college project or activity through the three branches of Westhampton College student government: Westhampton College Government Association (WCGA), Honor Council, or Student Conduct Council.

    For Westhampton students only

  • The LeSane-Malone Award

    Previously known as “The Westhampton College Perseverance Award,” we renamed it in honor of two of Westhampton’s first African-American graduates, Isabelle Thomas LeSane and Madieth Malone (both Class of 1972).  This award is given to a student or students who have faced significant challenges, yet ultimately persevered, and found their path.  They have, in turn, challenged those around them – to grow in understanding and action, to learn, to think more expansively, to make changes for the better, to care.  This award recognizes this work, whether it takes the form of activism, being in a formal leadership position, stepping up in one’s daily life, being a consistent voice on matters of importance to our community, or other modes of engagement.

    For Westhampton students only

  • Dr. Juliette Landphair Award for Dedication to the Awareness, Education, and Prevention of Sexual Misconduct (open to RC and WC)

    This award is named in honor of Dr. Juliette Landphair, who served as Dean of Westhampton College and Associate Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences for twelve years, from 2003-2015.  Dr. Landphair worked diligently to ensure that the University of Richmond upheld the values of a learning community in which all members felt physically and intellectually secure.  As part of these efforts, she successfully brought about awareness and education about sexual misconduct and dedicated herself to prevention programming and efforts.  The Landphair Award can be given to two seniors who care deeply about the issue of sexual misconduct and work tirelessly to advocate for those who have been affected, excelling in the development of sexual misconduct awareness through programs and movements.  Throughout their time here the recipients have taken a leadership role within one or more student organizations or peer programs whose goal was to work towards sexual misconduct awareness, education, and prevention..

    This award is open to both Richmond and Westhampton students

  • The Jane Stockman Award

    The Jane Stockman Award honors Jane Stockman, who served the Alumnae Association as its director for 15 years before assuming the position of Executive Director of the University of Richmond’s undergraduate alums associations. The criteria for selecting the recipient should include consideration of a Westhampton student’s enthusiastic and resourceful efforts to enrich the college community, and may include representing Westhampton and the University in a positive manner as a volunteer in the metropolitan Richmond community. These efforts should be seen as advancing the integrity of Westhampton College within the University of Richmond, and the recipient should be a hard-working optimist who is an integral and critical part of Westhampton College. Eligibility for the Award should not be limited by offices held or previous honors received; rather, the Award should be used as a vehicle to recognize the student who, through unselfish service, distinguishes both self and college.

    For Westhampton students only

  • The Westhampton College Dean’s Award

    This honor is given to Westhampton student(s) who work tirelessly to celebrate diversity, promote inclusion, and create a thriving and just community for all. In matters big and small, they always keep inclusion in mind, broadly defined. They look for opportunities to make all students feel welcome, identify and overcome challenges with a positive outlook, and seek to make the campus a better place with their presence, their voices, and their actions. Criteria include but are not limited to: work done by individuals or as part of a group or organization; consistent actions throughout a student’s time at the university; an extraordinary act of social justice; and/or a steady presence and voice, be they quiet or bold, that serve to remind the community of our values so that all can thrive.

    For Westhampton students only

  • The Westhampton College Diamond Award

    The Diamond Award was established in 1989 by Dr. Claire Rosenbaum, Class of 1954, and a former trustee of the university. The award was established to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Westhampton and to commemorate the history and spirit of the college. This award was created and gifted specifically, according to Dr. Rosenbaum’s wishes, to honor a woman who, during her years at Westhampton has demonstrated:

    • A profound understanding of and commitment to the history, the values and the spirit of the College;
    • Leadership within the College community;
    • A spirit of women’s education;
    • and values and priorities appropriate to women within her college community.

    For Westhampton students only

  • The Westhampton College Distinguished Leadership Award

    The Distinguished Leadership Award is presented annually to up to fifteen Westhampton College seniors in the form of a medal to be worn during commencement. The award recognizes individuals who, during their time at the University of Richmond, have contributed significantly to the college, the university, and the local community. Their leadership is consistent and evident through their classroom, student organization, sports team, or community service involvement.

    For Westhampton students only

  • The will Changemaker Award

    In the spirit of the will program, this award recognizes an individual who is committed to the lifelong pursuit of social justice work. This person has taken meaningful action to make the campus and/or the larger community a more equitable, inclusive place and whose actions and thoughts center an intersectional analysis.

  • The will Leadership Award (open to RC and WC)

    The will Leadership Award is an annual award presented to a senior not in the will program who consistently advocates for social justice. will focuses on studying and applying intersectional feminist theories in and out of the classroom. With this knowledge comes the responsibility to be social activists and work to create a world where the human potential of every individual is valued and nurtured. This is the work that this award recognizes.

    This award is open to both Richmond and Westhampton students.