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Clara Willoughby Davidson Scholarship

Each year the Department of Religion has the option of awarding the Clara Willoughby Davidson Alumnae Scholarship to a Smith College senior or recent graduate who pursues an advanced degree in Biblical Studies and/or Philosophy of Religion, or in a related field that involves coursework in one or both of these disciplines. Preference is given to applicants who have completed a substantial number of relevant courses while at Smith. Students considering an academic track, seminary, divinity school, or rabbinical school are encouraged to consult with the appropriate faculty in the department well in advance of their senior year.

James Gardner Buttrick Prize

This is awarded annually for the best essay, written by a Smith undergraduate, on a subject in the field of religious studies.

2014 Recipients

Dinah Lensing-Sharp '16, "Seek For the Word That Was Spoken: The Power of Prophecy, Prayer, Story, and Song in Tolkien's Lords of the Rings"
Sarah Ana Seligman '14, "Jewish Death and Mourning Rituals"

List of previous recipients

2013: Mackenzie Green 13, Caroline Quinn '13, and Alison Swayne '13
2012: Jennifer Eckert '12
2011: Jennifer Fernandez AC '11 and Chime Lama '11
2010: Jaclyn Majewski '13, Jessica McQuillan '12, Natalie Sargent '12, and Laura Stanford '11J
2009: Emily Floyd '09
2008: Syretha Brooks '08
2007: Rebekah Saidman-Krauss '07
2006: Carolyn Creedon AC'06

Henry Lewis Foote Memorial Prize

This is awarded annually for the best essay, written by a Smith undergraduate, on a subject in the field of biblical studies.

2014 Recipient

Emily Branton '14, "God as Parent, Partner, King: Reevaluating Metaphors of Love and Obedience in the Hebrew Bible"

List of previous recipients

2013: Emily Branton '14 and Sarah Ana Seligman '14
: Natalie Sargent '12
2011: Natalie Sargent '12
2010: Sarah Woodbury '10
2009: Lilian Jackman AC'09
2008: Laura Bram '08
2007: Kathryn Fox '07 and Rachel Rubenstein '07
2006: Kaitlyn Webster '08

Jochanan H.A. Wijnhoven Prize

This is awarded annually for the best essay, written by a Smith undergraduate for a course in the Religion Department or Jewish Studies, on a subject in Jewish religious thought.

2014 Recipient

Melissa Hoffman AC '15J, "Deconstructing Gender Hierarchy in Genesis"

List of previous recipients

2013: Katy Lora Swartz '13
: Hunter King '13 and Emma Cooke '14
2011: Lucy White '11
2009: Dara Kaye '09
2007: Chelsea Kline AC'07 and Rachel Rubenstein '07
2006: Stacey Baird '06


A student competing for one or more of these prizes should submit a printed copy of her paper together with the required cover sheet to Phoebe McKinnell, Green Street Classroom Annex 206, by noon on the last day of classes in the spring semester.

One need not be a Religion major to submit a paper for a prize and students may submit more than one paper. Prizes are typically awarded to midsized and longer papers that reflect substantial research and innovative thinking.

Winners are notified by the Dean of the College in writing and are announced on Commencement weekend at Last Chapel and at Convocation in the fall.