Class of 2013
The Joseph P. Kennedy Prize
The Kennedy Prize has been given by the History Department since 1991 and is named after Fr. Joseph Kennedy, S. J. who was the first chair of the Department. Father Kennedy was an excellent historian and teacher with a specialty in American history. The criteria for winning the prize is best overall performance on the Senior Seminar in the judgement of the history faculty: Oral performance and defense, as well as the written thesis itself.
The John T. Wack Prize
The Wack Prize is named after Dr. John Wack who joined the Department in 1961 as an instructor and served at the university until his retirement as a full Professor in 2001. He has endowed the department with a substantial cash gift. Professor Wack was a beloved icon on the WJU campus and can still be seen tooling around town in his Honda Civic. Occasionally, he graces us with his presence at departmental functions. He was an excellent lecturer and specialized in 19th century political, social, and institutional history.
The criteria for winning the prize is best overall contribution to the history department, major, and fellow history students during her or his four years at the college. We look to not only academic excellence, but also to excitement and commitment to the discipline of history, the history club, and serving as an example to fellow students.