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Founder’s Medal for Oratory

Since 1877, a gold medal has been awarded annually to the top graduating student from each school in honor of founder Cornelius Vanderbilt, who endowed the awards. In addition, Cornelius Vanderbilt established the Founder’s Medal for Oratory, which was first awarded (1876) before the other original Founder’s Medals (1877).

Read the complete history of the Founder’s Medal for Oratory here.

The tradition of Founder’s Medals lives on today with a medal still given for “oratory,” as well as for top honors in Vanderbilt’s 10 schools and colleges. For more information on the Founder’s Medals, visit Vanderbilt’s Commencement Website.

Recipients of the Founder’s Medal for Oratory:

2016: None given
2015: Amit Rajendra Bilgi
2014: George Watson Williford
2013: Saad Chaudry Rehman
2012: None given
2011: Nick Brown
2010: Campbell Glenn
2009: Houston Shaner
2008: Phil Rappmund
2007: Matt Earnest
2006: Kate Patricia Ryzoc
2005: Mark Philip Kendall
2004: India Rachel McKinney
2003: Christine Susan Parker
2002: James Thomas Almon
2001: Adam David Rosen
2000: James Arthur Porter IV
1999: Kale Alan Ness
1998: Gabrielle Prisco
1997: Jamie Elizabeth Ryan
1996: Karly Alyce Randolph
1995: Rebecca Michael Goforth
1994: John Deery Crocetti
1993: Garv Craig Lemel
1992: James Gregory Waller
1991: Kimberly Michelle Held
1990: Jennifer Kate Rubin
1989: Denise Lynn Urzendowski
1988: Evy Michale Jarrett
1987: Thomas Edward Parmer
1986: Laura Marie Hardy
1985: Not Awarded
1984: Lee Tarte
1983: James Alan Scharf
1982: Lewis Gerard Alder
1981: William Shane Walton
1980: William Breece Brannan
1979: Paul Steven Kratsch
1978: William Edwin Young
1977: John Warren Titus
1976: Kathryn Margaret Zickert
1975: James Kimble Sebenius
1974: Kenneth Dennis Sisk
1973: Douglas Staley Sandage
1972: Sandra Kay Wagoner
1971: James Taimage Walker Jr.
1970: Richard Stephen Knapp
1969: Elizabeth Anne Urban
1968: Walter Floyd Pratt, Jr.
1967: Charles Clay Ivie
1966: Thomas Henry Graves
1965: Not Awarded
1964: William Walter Richardson
1963: John Wesley Brinsfield, Jr.
1962: Not Awarded
1961: Richard Neal Batson
1960: William Harvey Dobelle
1959: Chester Burns
1958: Not Awarded
1957: L. Vastine Stabler
1956: John Marshall
1955: Robert L. Goldman
1954: Franklin Cole Ferguson
1953: Carol Ann McQueen·
1952: William Robert Baker
1951: Carl Jelenko
1950: Morele Kay

1949: Thomas Ross Ballew
1948: Douglas Murrey Fisher
1947: James Cordell Kirby, Jr.
1946: Not Awarded
1945: Not Awarded
1944: Not Awarded
1943: Not Awarded
1942: James C. Burns, Jr.
1941: Phyllis Pear
1940: James A. Weems
1939: Robert L. Landis
1938: Wallace C. Eblen
1937: Wayne W. Dehaney
1936: Richard C. Dunn
1935: Henry C. Hart
1934: Hugh Helm
1933: Parker Holt
1932: Samuel Lewis Meyer
1931: Julia Frances Gibson
1930: Joe V. Williams
1929: Claude Wilson Callicott
1928: Marion Monroe Tillman
1927: Herschel Collins Finger
1926: David G. Caldwell
1925: John Edward Norman
1924: Jen Lin Huang
1923: Robert Dwight Ware
1922: Leo Bearman
1921: Richard D. Gleaves
1920: James David Rhea, Jr.
1919: Robert Elmo Thompson
1918: Thomas W. Schlater, Jr.
1917: Sylvan H. Gottschall
1916: Hugh D. White
1915: Louis F. Sperry
1914: Charles D. McGehee
1913: C.C. Gregory
1912: H. H. Jones
1911: Gilbert R. Combs, AB.
1910: Fred Taylor Wilson
1909: Charles Cason
1908: John William Frazer, AB.
1907: Hugh Allen Locke, B.S.
1906: Edwin Marvin Steele
1905: Gates Phillips Thruston, Jr.
1904: Louis Clausiel Perry
1903: Glenn Flinn, B.A.
1902: Hoyt McWhorter Dobbs, AM.
1901: Charles Yun Marshall
1900: Charles Crawford Jarrell
1899: Charles Gideon Hounshell, AM
1898: William Peter King, AM
1897: Griffin M. Lovelace
1896: Granville M. Pritchett
1895: F.M. Oliver
1894: William K. Mathews
1893: S.J. Rucker
1892: J.A. Robins
1891: F.S. Brockman
1890: G.C.G. Murchison
1889: E.H. Rawlings
1888: Charles N. Burch
1887: E.E. Barthell
1886: J.H. Watkins
1885: Walter Stokes
1884: W.H. Cotton
1883: J.M. Price
1882: AC. Cruce
1881: T.A. Atchison
1880: C.H.E. Hardin
1879: Julien Clement Brown
1878: William Reed Richardson
1877: J.J. Tigert, Jr.
1876: Robert James Craig