Senior Awards and Speakers

Senior Awards, Senior Honors, and Senior Speaker

There are several opportunities for seniors to be recognized for their hard work, dedication, and success at Marymount Manhattan College. Below are the various awards seniors can apply or be nominated for, as well as other opportunities for recognition and honors.

Several of the awards and honors below are announced alongside leadership and academic honors, at the annual Senior Leadership Awards, which is typically held just before Commencement in May. Other awards are announced or celebrated at the Commencement ceremony.

Seniors also have an opportunity to recognize their favorite faculty and staff members. These senior-nominated awards are also announced at the Senior Awards Ceremony.

Senior Awards Ceremony

Sunday, May 2, 2021

11:00 AM – 1:00 PM

  • Awards of Distinction

    Each year, Marymount Manhattan College bestows five Awards of Distinction to graduating seniors who, during their time at Marymount Manhattan College, have made exceptional contributions in the areas of educational achievement, leadership, service and spirit. The College’s Awards Committee, composed of faculty and staff, review all complete applications and make decisions based on merit. The winners also receive recognition in the Commencement Program.

    The Rowley Founder’s Medal

    Established in memory of Mother Rita Rowley, founder of Marymount Manhattan College (MMC). The Rowley Founder’s Medal is awarded to the senior who, through extraordinary determination and effort, has been able to overcome adversity to attain educational achievement. 

    The Raymunde McKay Award

    Established in memory of Sister Raymunde McKay, the first President of Marymount Manhattan College, the Raymunde McKay Award is awarded to the senior who has made an outstanding contribution toward meeting the problems and demands of our society through service at MMC and in the larger community. 

    The MMC Crest

    Established by the College in memory of Mother Joseph Butler, who was responsible for establishing a network of colleges throughout the United States called “Marymount;” the MMC Crest is awarded to the senior who has best demonstrated the spirit and embodiment of the educational mission of MMC: academic excellence and leadership within a strong liberal arts program. 

    The Trustees’ Award

    In recognition of student leadership and volunteerism, the Trustees’ Award is awarded to a senior who has made a significant contribution to the building of community among the students at Marymount Manhattan College. 

    The Alumni Association Medal

    This medal is awarded to the senior who has shown outstanding leadership and has made the most noteworthy contribution to Marymount.  Serving as an alumni liaison for her/his/their class, the recipient of this medal will work closely with the Alumni Office and the Alumni Leadership Council.  Students may include ONE additional recommendation from an MMC student in addition to a required faculty/staff recommendation.


    Students apply for the Awards of Distinction:

    1. After viewing the descriptions of the individual Awards of Distinction, please complete the Awards of Distinction Application for the award(s) you choose to apply for:

    2. Write a personal statement describing why you believe you are deserving of the specific award(s). No more than 250 words. One personal statement should encompass all awards for which you are applying. Please note, each award has different criteria, and your letter statement should reflect the spirit of the awards you are applying for.

    3. Ask a faculty or staff to email a recommendation letter(s) to with the subject line “Awards of Distinction Recommendation.” One recommendation letter is required and no more than (3) three recommendation letters should be submitted.

    4. All recommendations must be received by the application deadline date (Friday, March 19, 2021) or else the entire application will be deemed incomplete and not considered by the Committee.

    NOTE: If you are applying for the Alumni Association Award you can also submit an additional recommendation from a current MMC student. This recommendation letter is not required, and can be submitted to

    The Awards of Distinction Application and recommendation letter(s), must be submitted by 5:00 pm on Friday, March 19, 2021. Submissions received after the deadline will not be considered by the Committee.

    The Awards of Distinction application will be available by February 19, 2021.

  • Honor Cords

    Honor Cords are special cords given to a cohort of students to indicate their membership in various academic and student leadership activities. They should be worn around the neck on the outside of a student’s cap and gown. At MMC, Honor Cords are given to members of the National Honor Societies, the College Honors Program, Core Council, Senior Marshals, and Veteran students.

    The Honor Cords will be mailed to the graduating students in the Spring 2021 semester.

  • Senior Class Speaker

    Each year, one senior is selected to speak at the Commencement Ceremony. The Senior Speaker represents the senior class in front of family, friends, and faculty gathered to celebrate this milestone achievement.

    Interested seniors are invited to register for a 15 minute “audition” time to showcase how they would represent the Class of 2021 in a speech for this year’s Commencement Ceremony. The audition does not have to be a final version, but should be a prepared three-minute snapshot of the final speech. When selecting finalists, the committee takes a variety of factors into consideration, including originality, enthusiasm, organization, and quality of content.

    Interested applicants must:

    • Be eligible to participate in the Commencement ceremony
    • Be in good academic and judicial standing
    • Serve as an ambassador for the College, it’s mission, and it’s values

    The Student Speaker Selection Committee, made up of students and staff members, will select the top three candidates who will then move forward for a final selection by the Commencement Committee.

    More information on the registration and audition process will be made available in the Spring 2021 semester.

  • Silver M Award Nomination

    The Silver M is awarded to up to thirty (30) graduating seniors who have shown student leadership and service to MMC during their years at the College. Students who receive this prestigious honor will be announced at the Senior Awards Ceremony. Recipients of the Silver M Award will also receive recognition in the Commencement Program.


    Only administrators, faculty, and staff may nominate a student. Nominators should focus on personal knowledge of the student’s involvement, leadership, service to the college, and outstanding accomplishments. Please complete the Silver M Award Nomination Form below if you (administrator, faculty, and staff) would like to nominate a student.


    Must be a current graduating senior.

    Must have a minimum GPA of 3.0.

    Demonstrate leadership and service to MMC through participation in campus activities, involvement in Registered Student Organizations, and service that is decidedly above average.


    All nominated students will be evaluated by the Silver M committee, composed of select faculty, staff, and administrators. This process is confidential; no disclosure will be made to the nominees until after the recipients are chosen.


    The Silver M application will be available by February 19, 2021.


    Silver M Award Nomination Form

  • Senior-Nominated Faculty and Staff Awards

    Seniors have an opportunity to recognize staff and faculty who have most impacted their time at MMC. After all nominations have been collected, candidates will be announced, and graduating seniors will vote from a list of nominated staff and faculty.

    Award winners cannot be nominated two years in a row.


    Please nominate a full-time staff member who has been supportive to you during your years at MMC.

    Please nominate up to 5 full-time members of the Faculty (1 for each Division) who have significantly impacted you during your years at MMC.

    Senior-Nominated Faculty & Staff Awards past recipients have included:

    Year Name Award
    2020 Ben Giuliana Staff Member
    2020 Emily Goldsmith, Ph.D. Business
    2020 Laura Tropp, Ph.D. Communication and Media Arts
    2020 Catherine Cabeen, MFA Fine and Performing Arts
    2020 Andreas Hernandez, Ph.D. Humanities and Social Sciences
    2020 Nava Silton, Ph.D. Sciences
    2019 Carly Schneider Staff Member 
    2019 Lorraine Martínez-Novoa, Ph.D. Business 
    2019 Peter Schaefer, Ph.D. Communication and Media Arts 
    2019 Robert Dutiel, MFA Fine and Performing Arts  
    2019 Lauren Erin Brown, Ph.D. Humanities and Social Sciences
    2019 Deirtra Hunter-Romagnoli, Ph.D. Sciences 
    2018 Denice Alwaiz Staff Member 
    2018 Gunjali Trikha, Ph.D. Business 
    2018 Jennifer Dixon, Ph.D. Communication and Media Arts 
    2018 Melissa Tonning-Kollwitz, MFA Fine and Performing Arts  
    2018 Carrie-Ann Biondi, Ph.D. Humanities and Social Sciences
    2018 Benedetta Sampoli Benitez, Ph.D. Sciences 
    2017 Mary Brown Staff Member 
    2017 Andrea Tsentides, Ph.D. Business 
    2017 Erin Greenwell, MFA Communication and Media Arts 
    2017 Mary Fleischer, Ph.D. Fine and Performing Arts  
    2017 Cecilia Feilla, Ph.D. Humanities and Social Sciences
    2017 Ann Aguanno, Ph.D.  Sciences 


    The nomination form will be available in the Spring 2021 semester.