Academic Awards and Commencement Honors

Latin Honors

Honors at commencement are determined by the LMU cumulative grade point average at the time the degree is granted. Only honors earned by merit of academic performance at LMU will appear on the student’s record. These honors are entered on the transcript and are inscribed on the diploma.

To be eligible for academic honors at commencement, an undergraduate student must have completed at least 60 semester hours toward the baccalaureate degree on a graded basis (Credit/No Credit courses are excluded) at LMU.

The following grade point averages are required for the honors indicated:

GPA Honors
3.9 Summa Cum Laude
3.7 Magna Cum Laude
3.5 Cum Laude

Eligible students for honors at May commencement received a degree on the previous August 31 or December 31 degree date, or must be a degree candidate for honors in May. An indication of honors pending at graduation printed in the commencement program is unofficial. The final determination will be made after a review of all completed undergraduate courses counted toward the degree.

University Academic Awards

For undergraduate students to be eligible for academic awards presented at the May Commencement ceremony, they must have either graduated in the previous Summer or Fall term or be a candidate for graduation for May.

The University Scholar of the Year Award

Presented to the student who, in the four-year undergraduate program at LMU, is determined to have achieved the best overall academic record in the graduating class.

The Ignatian Award

Awarded to the graduating senior man who has achieved well academically and who has distinguished himself in leadership and service to the student body and the University.

The Marian Award

Awarded to the graduating senior woman who has achieved well academically and who has distinguished herself in leadership and service to the student body and the University.

The Valedictorian Award

Presented to the student who, in the four-year undergraduate program, is chosen after a presentation to the Valedictorian Committee to give the Valedictorian Address at the Undergraduate Commencement Exercises.

Presidential Citations

Presented to outstanding graduating seniors who have combined excellence in the classroom with effective service and leadership in the University community.

Arrupe Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award

Candidates for the Arrupe Award for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are selected based on the significance of academic contributions in DEI-focused areas, how the student has furthered LMU’s understanding of DEI in the broader LMU community, and future and aspirational plans post-graduation. 

University Honor Societies

Loyola Marymount University sponsors numerous honor societies to recognize significant academic achievement of its students.

Alpha Kappa Delta Sociology Society

Established at LMU in 1997, Alpha Kappa Delta is an academic organization dedicated to the study of sociology, the research of social problems, and other social and intellectual activities. It promotes the development of scholastic and leadership skills within the framework of a national honor society and the Department of Sociology. It was founded in 1920 at the University of Southern California.

Alpha Sigma Nu Jesuit Honor Society

Alpha Sigma Nu is a national honor society for men and women founded in 1915 at Marquette University. The society was organized to honor students from Jesuit colleges and universities who have distinguished themselves in scholarship, loyalty, and service to the University. A limited number of juniors and seniors is selected for membership each year. The society offers its services to the University, particularly in an effort to stimulate intellectual interest and accomplishment. It was established at LMU in 1939.

Beta Beta Beta Biology Society

Since its inception at Oklahoma City University in 1922, Beta Beta Beta has been a society for students dedicated to improving the understanding and appreciation of biological study and extending boundaries of human knowledge through scientific research. The society has been at LMU since 1999.

Beta Gamma Sigma Business Society

The establishment of the first national honor society for business students was the result of the 1913 merger of three separate societies from the University of Wisconsin, University of Illinois, and University of California. Beta Gamma Sigma is an international honor society recognizing the outstanding academic achievements of students enrolled in collegiate business and management programs. LMU’s chapter started in 1982.

Eta Sigma Phi Classics Society

Established at the University of Chicago in 1914, Eta Sigma Phi became recognized as a national honors society in 1924. The LMU chapter was established in 2007. Eta Sigma Phi is the national honorary collegiate society for students of Latin and/or Greek intended to develop interest in classical study among the students of colleges and universities and promote closer relationships among students who are interested in classical study.

Gamma Kappa Alpha National Italian Honor Society

Gamma Kappa Alpha acknowledges superior scholastic performance in the field of Italian language, literature, and culture, and is open to membership at institutions of higher learning in the United States and Canada. The Society encourages college students to acquire a greater interest in, and a deeper understanding of, Italian culture, art, and history. It was founded at Nazareth College in Rochester, NY, in 1983 and established at LMU in 1998.

Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education

The Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education was founded in 1911 at the University of Illinois and established at LMU in 1996. It is dedicated to recognizing scholarship and excellence in education, promoting development and dissemination of worthy educational ideas and practices, and enhancing the continuous growth and leadership of its diverse membership.

Lambda Pi Eta Communication Studies Society

Founded at the University of Arkansas in 1985, this society later became the official honor society of the National Communication Association. Taking its name from the three elements of persuasion as described in Aristotle’s Rhetoric, it functions to foster development among students and professionals in the field.

Omicron Delta Epsilon Economics Society

Omicron Delta Epsilon is an international honor society for economics that was created in 1963 through the merger of two honor societies, Omicron Delta Gamma and Omicron Chi Epsilon. The LMU chapter was established in 1990. This society recognizes scholastic attainment and honor outstanding achievements in economics and intends to establish of closer ties between students and faculty in economics within colleges and universities.

Phi Alpha Theta History Society

Established at the University of Arkansas in 1921, Phi Alpha Theta is a professional society whose mission is to promote the study of history through the encouragement of research, teaching, publication, and the exchange of learning and ideas among historians. The LMU chapter started in 1968.

Phi Sigma Tau Philosophy Society

The purpose of Phi Sigma Tau is to serve as a means of awarding distinction to students having high scholarship and personal interest in philosophy and to promote student interest in research and advanced study in this field. It was founded at Muhlenberg College in 1930, incorporated in 1955, and became active at LMU in 1987.

Pi Delta Phi French Honor Society

This society was established in 1906 at the University of California at Berkeley, with the goals of recognizing outstanding scholarship in French language and literature and increasing knowledge of the contribution of French-speaking countries to world culture. LMU’s chapter began in 1969.

Pi Mu Epsilon Mathematics Society

Pi Mu Epsilon is an honorary national mathematics society founded at Syracuse University in 1914, with the purpose of promoting scholarly activity in mathematics among the students in academic institutions. The society was established at LMU in 1975.

Pi Sigma Alpha National Political Science Honor Society

Pi Sigma Alpha was founded in 1920 at the University of Texas at Austin. Its goal is to stimulate scholarship and intelligent interest in the field of political science. LMU’s chapter was established in 1998.

Psi Chi Psychology Society

Psi Chi Psychology Society was established in 1929 at Yale for the purposes of encouraging, stimulating, and maintaining excellence in scholarship and advancing the science of psychology. LMU started a chapter of the society in 1979.

Sigma Delta Pi Hispanic Society

Sigma Delta Pi, the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society, was established in 1919 at the University of California at Berkeley. Its goals include honoring those who attain excellence in the study of the Spanish language and encouraging university students to acquire a greater interest in and a deeper understanding of Hispanic culture. LMU’s chapter became active in 1972.

Sigma Pi Sigma National Physics Honor Society

Founded at Davidson College, North Carolina, in 1921, Sigma Pi Sigma exists to honor outstanding scholarship in physics, to encourage interest in physics among students at all levels, to promote an attitude of service of its members towards their fellow students and colleagues and to the public, and to provide a fellowship of persons who have excelled in physics. The society was established at LMU in 1979.

Sigma Tau Delta English Society

Founded at Dakota Wesleyan College in 1924 and established at LMU in 1994, Sigma Tau Delta members are expected to have superior creative talent and to have an interest in literature and language beyond the classroom. They are dedicated to providing cultural and intellectual enlightenment in a community of others who have similar talents and interests.

Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society

At LMU since 1967, Sigma Xi endeavors to encourage support of academic achievement and original work in science and technology and to promote an appreciation within society at large for the role research has played in human progress. Founded at Cornell University in 1886, it is among the oldest such societies in the nation.

Tau Beta Pi Engineering Society

This national engineering honor society was founded at Lehigh University in 1885 to honor students displaying excellence in scholarship and exemplary character as undergraduates in engineering and to foster a spirit of liberal culture in engineering colleges. The LMU chapter was established in 1974.

Theta Alpha Kappa Religious Studies Society

Founded in 1976 at Manhattan College, Theta Alpha Kappa is the only national honor society recognizing excellence of students involved in the study of religion and theology. The society was established at LMU in 1981.

College, School, Departmental, and Program Awards

The College or School Scholar Awards

Presented to the top graduating senior who has achieved the highest academic record in the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts (The Erlandson Award), the College of Business Administration, the College of Communication and Fine Arts, the Frank R. Seaver College of Science and Engineering, the School of Education, and the School of Film and Television.

The Clinton J. Albertson, S.J., University Honors Program Award

Presented to an outstanding graduating student in the University Honors Program.

The American Chemical Society Analytical Division Award

Given to the third-year student who has demonstrated excellence in analytical chemistry and displays an aptitude for a career in the field.

The American Chemical Society Organic Division Award

Given to the outstanding student of two semesters of organic chemistry.

The American Institute of Chemists Award (Biochemistry and Chemistry)

The gift of the Western Chapter of the American Institute of Chemists presented to the graduating senior who, in the opinion of the faculty of the Department of Chemistry, is deserving of special recognition for leadership, character, and excellence in scholarship.

The Samuel Z. Arkoff Awards

The gift of Samuel Z. Arkoff, awarded annually in two categories of achievement: best film and best full-length film script by a graduate student.

Awards for Academic Excellence in History

These awards are given to top graduating History seniors, as nominated by department faculty, for distinguished academic achievement in the field of History.

The Virginia Barnelle Theatre Arts Award

Given to a continuing senior who has demonstrated superior academic achievement, outstanding service to the program and University at large, and in recognition of excellence in the field of Theatre Arts.

The Leonard Simon Blenkiron English Award

The gift of Mrs. Mae Emma Blenkiron, in memory of her husband, Leonard Simon Blenkiron, awarded to a senior English major for excellence in English.

The Sister Regina Buchholz, S.C.R.H., Art and Art History Award

Presented in honor of Sister Regina Buchholz, S.C.R.H., former Professor of Art, by the Department of Art and Art History, to a senior Studio Arts major in recognition of excellence in the field of art and of service to the University.

Sr. Martin Byrne Award in Business Administration

The Caloyeras Center Summer Scholarship

This all-expenses-paid summer scholarship to study in Greece is awarded to a student in the Modern Greek Studies Program who has demonstrated superior academic achievement.

The Peter B. Caloyeras Scholarships

The Basil P. Caloyeras Center offers five annual scholarships for the Odyssey Summer Study in Greece Program. The scholarships are a gift to LMU by Basil P. Caloyeras in memory of his father, Peter, and are awarded based on academic excellence and financial need.

The Stanley Chan Political Science Award

Given to the outstanding graduate of the Political Science Department who demonstrates superior academic achievement, outstanding service to the University, and commitment to Judeo-Christian values.

The CRC Press First-Year Chemistry Award

Given to the outstanding student of two semesters of first-year general chemistry.

The Delta Sigma Pi Scholarship Key

The gift of the local chapter of Delta Sigma Pi to a business student for academic excellence and leadership potential.

The Dockweiler Gold Medal for History

The gift of Mrs. Henry I. Dockweiler awarded annually to the graduating senior who has achieved general excellence in the field of history and in service to the University.

The Jerome K. Doolan Endowed Engineering Award

The gift of Mr. and Mrs. Jerome K. Doolan, awarded to the graduating senior engineer, who, by reasons of his or her scholarship, participation in student activities, and promise of future success in his chosen profession, shall have been judged deserving of special recognition.

The Financial Executives Medallion Awards

Presented by the Financial Executives Institute, recognizing the top student in the field of finance for the four years of study.

The Finnegan-Reiland Education Award

Named in honor of two former professors of the School of Education, the award recognizes distinction in student teaching, superior scholastic achievement, and service to others.

Garvin Marketing Scholarship

Presented to the graduating senior who has achieved academic excellence, exhibited strong leadership, and provided dedicated service to the Marketing and Business Law Department.

The St. Genisius Theatre Arts Performance Award

Given to a graduating senior who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in theatre arts performance exemplifying the University ideals of faith, action, and the education of the whole person.

The Graham Alumni Award

The Barbara and Hugh Gray Award for Greek Studies

Presented by the Basil P. Caloyeras Center for Modern Greek Studies to the author of the best paper on Modern Greek Studies.

Greek Scholar of the Year

History Department Chair’s Award for Non-Majors

Awarded to a graduating non-History major who has performed outstanding service to the Department of History.

The Carl G. Kadner Biology Award

Presented to the graduating senior who has achieved academic excellence, exhibited strong leadership, and provided dedicated service to the Biology Department.

Kalbfleisch Award in Physics

The George R. Kalbfleisch Endowed Award in Physics is presented to the top graduating senior in honor of their exceptional academic achievement in the program.

The Jerome J. Korth Award

Presented to the graduating senior in the Frank R. Seaver College of Science and Engineering with the highest grade point average in the University’s core curriculum.

The Marketing Student Award

Presented by the Loyola Marymount Collegiate Chapter of the American Marketing Association to the senior with outstanding participation, academic achievement, and career potential in marketing.

The Marie Anne Mayeski Award in Theological Studies

Given to a graduating senior in Theological Studies who exemplifies the love of learning and the desire for God, and who has integrated theology into his or her life through research and writing, service, the promotion of justice, and leadership.

Noyce Scholars

Awarded to STEM majors selected to participate in the Noyce program which provides the skills and support they need to become effective Math and Science teachers in K-12 schools.

The John O’Neill, S.J., Department of Classics and Archaeology Award

Presented to the graduating senior who has demonstrated the highest degree of academic achievement, based on GPA and the rigor of his/her individual program.

Dr. Thomas D. Pitts Biology Award

A gift of the alumni, honoring Dr. Thomas D. Pitts, Professor of Biology from 1948-1974, to a graduating senior in the Department of Biology who has shown a growth to academic excellence and provided service to the University.

Fr. Richard Rolfs, S.J., Award

This award is given to an outstanding History major who embodies Fr. Rolfs’ commitment to excellence both in the classroom and our LMU community.

Paul Salamunovich Choral Excellence Award

Presented to a graduating senior from the LMU choruses who, during his or her tenure in the choruses, has exhibited musical leadership and exemplary dedication to the choral art.

The Alan Seydoux Memorial Biology Award

Given to a graduating senior who has achieved excellence in the area of field or marine biology and who has provided service to the University.

Richard Trame, S.J., Music Award

Presented to the outstanding senior woman and man graduating from the Department of Music for outstanding musical, academic, and professional development and contribution.

The Mary Tsassis European History Award

Presented by the Basil P. Caloyeras Center for Modern Greek Studies to the graduating senior who has demonstrated excellence in European history.

Anthony F. Turhollow Award for Distinguished Leadership

Awarded to the graduating senior who has performed outstanding service to the Department of History.

The Wall Street Journal Student Achievement Economics Awards

The gift of Dow Jones & Company, publishers of the Wall Street Journal, to be given to the senior who ranks highest in finance and in economics.

Special Awards

The AFROTC Award

The gift of the President of Loyola Marymount University to the graduating senior in the Air Force ROTC who exemplifies the high ideals of the University through leadership and service to AFROTC, the school, and the community.

Eugene Escallier Foreign Study Scholarship Award

An endowed gift of Lucien Escallier to a full-time junior or senior student for educational enrichment through travel and foreign study within the area where western culture was born.

Rev. James N. Loughran, S.J., Award for Community Service

Presented to the outstanding graduating senior in good academic standing who, through his/her leadership, activities, and involvement with the community beyond the campus and throughout his or her years at Loyola Marymount University, has improved relations between the community and the University and has created a positive view of Loyola Marymount University. The recipient has exemplified Jesuit and Marymount ideals of hard work and generosity, has had a significant impact in off-campus service, and has given promise of selfless and effective leadership in the years ahead.

Sr. Raymunde McKay, R.S.H.M., Service and Leadership Award for Seniors

Presented to graduating seniors in good academic standing who, during their years at Loyola Marymount, have excelled as leaders and servants. The recipients of the McKay Award have: been instrumental in initiating change; taken on leadership roles that have motivated their peers to challenge themselves and others; enriched the quality of University life by building school spirit and by creating a positive and respectful community; and given selflessly of their time and energy in an attempt to make the world–that of the University, local community, and nation–a better place.