Each Spring the Department takes time to acknowledge student academic excellence. All Majors and Minors with a 3.0 GPA or higher are recognized, and the students with the highest GPAs are specifically honored.
The Christopher M. Caldwell Award for the Most Promising Philosophy Student
Christopher M. Caldwell was the Chair of the History and Philosophy Department from 2014 to 2016. He was a philosopher who graduated with honors, specializing in the area of Ethics. Dr. Caldwell was an immensely popular teacher who lived his life according to the moral principles about which he taught and published.
The Danny Starr Townes Award for the Outstanding Freshman
Danny Starr Townes taught in the History Department longer than any other woman faculty member. Her specialty was World Civilization. She was known for her devotion to students.
The James Hugo Johnston, Jr. Award for the Outstanding Sophomore
James Hugo Johnston, Jr. served as Chairperson of the Department of History and Dean of the School of Liberal Arts & Science. His specialty was African-American History in Virginia.
The Edgar Toppin Award for the Outstanding Junior
Edgar Toppin served Virginia State University for nearly four decades as a teacher, Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Provost of the University. Dr. Toppin was one of the leading scholars in the field of African-American History.
The Luther P. Jackson Award for the Outstanding Senior
Luther Porter Jackson served as Chairperson of the Department of History for more than 25 years. Besides being a leading scholar in the field of African-American History, Dr. Jackson was a guiding force in the struggle for Black voter registration in Virginia.