Alden Scholars Dean’s List
Students who, in the course of a year (Fall semester through Summer term), complete a minimum of 30 semester credit hours, incur no infractions of the Honor Code at the level of Probation or higher, and achieve a grade point average of 3.50 or higher are designated as Alden Scholars. Students who, in the course of a year (Fall semester through Summer term), complete a minimum of 30 semester credit hours, incur no infractions of the Honor Code, and achieve a grade point average of 3.80 or higher receive special recognition as Distinguished Alden Scholars. Grades of Credit and No Credit are not considered in making Alden Scholar designations. However, credit hours earned for grades of Credit do count toward the minimum hours required for Alden Scholars. For students studying abroad for the full year, the grades submitted by the foreign institution will be used whenever possible. However, the grades will be evaluated within the context of the foreign institution’s grading system, and other pertinent data will be taken into account in each case. For students who study abroad for one semester, Alden Scholar eligibility for that year will be determined by considering both the Allegheny record and the grades from the foreign institution. At least 16 semester credit hours must be completed during the semester at Allegheny.
Students named as Alden Scholars during their senior year and/or at any time during their undergraduate career are recognized in the Commencement program at the time of graduation and on their academic record.
Each year up to 30 students from the sophomore, junior, and senior classes are honored as Doane Distinguished Scholars. These students have earned the highest cumulative averages in their respective classes and are awarded a prize and a medal, and they receive recognition in the Commencement program and on their academic record. These students will have no Honor Code violations in the twelve months prior to the award. The 30 annual awards are made possible through the generosity of the late Mrs. Sandra Doane Turk.
Students who have achieved a cumulative grade point average of 3.90, with at least 64 semester credit hours taken at Allegheny and evaluated on the letter-grade basis, may be awarded their degrees summa cum laude. Students who have achieved a cumulative grade point average of 3.70, with at least 64 semester credit hours taken at Allegheny and evaluated on the letter-grade basis, may be awarded their degrees magna cum laude. Students who have achieved a cumulative grade point average of 3.50, with at least 64 semester credit hours taken at Allegheny and evaluated on the letter-grade basis, may be awarded their degrees cum laude. Whether awards are finally made will depend upon the total academic record of the student, including his or her compliance with the College Honor Code and vote of the faculty. The sanction of Probation, Suspension, or Expulsion received for academic violations will disqualify a student from consideration for Latin Honors.
Students awarded their degree summa cum laude will be presented with Allegheny College Honor Cords, which they may wear at Commencement.
Cord & Stole Policy
Commencement is a special ceremony, officiated by the President of the College, where faculty, staff, parents/families and alumni share the excitement and importance of student’s academic accomplishments. It is also a time for the College and Board of Trustees pay special tribute to students who have achieved the distinct honor of the Allegheny College degree. In addition to the traditional cap and gown regalia, students may wear academic honor cords and stoles.
The College supports the wearing of honors cords, medallions, stoles, insignia and/or pins at Commencement ceremonies by students who have earned these privileges through achieving academic honors, completing honors programs, as recipients of designated academic scholarship funds, academic unit or departmental honors, military service, induction into Allegheny College-recognized honors societies, athletic distinction, or membership in good standing in college-recognized professional or service organizations. All honor cords, medallions, stoles, pins and insignia must be in keeping with the nature of the Commencement ceremonies and the Allegheny College Statement of Community. Any items deemed to not meet these standards by the Office of the Registrar must be removed.
Approved cords, stoles, medallions, sashes, insignia and/or pins may also be worn in recognition of the student’s identity, cultural heritage and membership in student organizations. Students are advised to limit themselves to wearing only one stole of their choice during official commencement activities.
This policy is under the purview of the Academic Awards and Standards Committee. Changes are subject to a vote of the Faculty.
Major Field Honors
At the conclusion of the senior year, students who have done distinguished work in the major field may be awarded honors in that field. Honors in a student-designed major will be awarded upon the decision of a committee consisting of the members of the Curriculum Committee and the individual student’s academic and senior project advisors.
Phi Beta Kappa
Phi Beta Kappa, a national honorary scholastic society founded in 1776, has had a chapter at Allegheny since 1902. Members are elected from the senior class on the basis of scholarship and moral character. The breadth of a student’s program, as shown by high achievement in a variety of courses taken outside the major field of study, is a factor in election. Elections and initiation into the society take place twice each academic year. In the fall, students who have demonstrated exceptionally distinguished academic achievement through the sixth semester are elected and initiated at the beginning of their senior year. In the spring, other academically outstanding members of the senior class are elected and initiated in a ceremony before graduation. Inquiries about the selection process may be directed to the Office of the Provost and Dean of the College.
The student selected as valedictorian of the senior class embodies the highest level of academic achievement, scholarship, personal integrity, and ethical character in the tradition of liberal arts at Allegheny College. The valedictorian is selected by the Provost and Dean of the College on the basis of these criteria. Often the student in the graduating class with the highest GPA is chosen to be the valedictorian, but the depth, breadth, and rigor of a student’s program, as exemplified by high achievement in a variety of courses taken outside the major field of study, are also important selection criteria. In addition, the Dean of Students Office is consulted to ensure that the student chosen as valedictorian has no Honor Code or significant disciplinary violations. The selection process occurs during the spring semester on the basis of the college record at that point in time. Two or more students may be named co-valedictorians if their records justify it, though this happens only infrequently.
The student or students selected as valedictorian will be presented with an Allegheny College Valedictorian Medal, which they may wear at Commencement.