Annually, the English department recommends to the Dean a "Senior Scholar" for each of the three majors. The senior scholar is a student whose work in Literary Studies, Communication Studies, or Creative Writing has been exemplary. In order to be considered, a student must have at least a 3.2 cumulative academic average and must have earned at least 27 units of credit, of which a minimum of 18 units have been earned at Roanoke College. Eligibility is determined from among currently enrolled students on the basis of their academic records as of the end of the fall term. The English Department is proud to have produced some exceptionally fine Senior Scholars over time.
The English department also gives the following awards annually:
Julius D. Dreher Scholarship Prize - Dr. J. D. Dreher, President of Roanoke College from 1878 to 1903, provided a bequest to "endow a prize scholarship in English language and literature to be awarded annually in the junior class under regulations to be established by the English department." This scholarship is applicable toward tuition during the senior year at Roanoke College. Only English majors of junior standing are eligible for the award.
Matthew M. Wise Scholarship Prize - This scholarship prize was established in honor of Dr. Matthew M. Wise for his 30 years of dedicated service as a faculty member in Roanoke College's English Department. It is used to support a senior English major of outstanding academic achievement.
Charles C. Wise Poetry Award - A prize in money, made possible by an anonymous donor, is awarded for an original poem judged outstanding by the members of the English Department.
The Andrew Murphy Award for Fiction - An annual prize for the best short fiction written by an undergraduate at Roanoke College. By request of the anonymous donor, the award is determined by at least three members of the English Department faculty. The prize-winning selection is published in On Concept's Edge, the college's student literary magazine, with appropriate respects to Professor Andrew Murphy.
Literary Studies Outstanding Sophomore Performance Award
An award recognizing an outstanding sophomore major in Literary Studies, chosen by the Literary Studies faculty, who shows a high degree of promise in the field. The name of each year's winner will be inscribed on a perpetual plaque and the designated student will receive a cash award.
Communication Studies Outstanding Performance Award
An award recognizing an outstanding student in Communication Studies, chosen by the Communication Studies faculty, who shows a high degree of promise in the field. The name of each year's winner will be inscribed on a perpetual plaque and the designated student will receive a cash award.