The Bryson Prize


The purpose of the Bryson Prize, an academic honor established by Dr. Robert Claxton in 1988, is two-fold. (1) It memorializes Dr. Thomas Archer Bryson III (1931-1980) who taught history at the University of West Georgia from 1967 until his death and who authored several articles and books in diplomatic history. (2) The Bryson Prize also recognizes one University of West Georgia undergraduate annually for outstanding achievement in international studies.

The University of West Georgia is an institutional member of the Georgia Consortium for international education. In 1987, the Consortium board authorized a monetary award and a recognition certificate for one student at each member institution in the University System each year for excellence in international affairs study. At the University of West Georgia the student so designated receives the monetary award and certificate on Honors Day and his/her name is engraved on the Bryson Memorial Plaque which the History Department keeps in the Ingram Library lobby.


Qualifications for the Bryson Prize:
To be eligible for the Bryson Prize, a student must:

(1)      be a United States citizen (and not an international student)
(2)      have undergraduate status at University of West Georgia
(3)      have earned a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.20
(4)      have completed at least 15 quarter credit hours of a foreign language
(5)      have completed at least 15 additional credit hours of courses in the social sciences (including geography and economics) or the humanities which have primarily an international education content
(6)      have significant international education experience outside the classroom through such activities as a study abroad program or participation in a model international body or some other equivalent

In the event that several student nominees meet all of these basic qualifications, the Bryson Prize shall be awarded to that student nominee with the highest cumulative grade point average. No person may receive the Bryson Prize twice.


Annual Procedures for the Selection of the Bryson Prize Recipient:
By January 10, the Chair of the History Department will designate a selection committee. The selection committee chair will be a member of the History Department. Another member of the selection committee will be, if possible, the institutional representative to the Georgia Consortium board. The committee will have a third member whom the History Chair will select from international specialists in the following disciplines: anthropology, economics, foreign languages, geography, political science. The committee will have three members, ideally from three different departments. the representative to the Consortium board will obtain the check and certificate by the day the Honors Program Committee designates. The committee chair will coordinate selection by the announced deadline and he or she will take responsibility for the engraving after Honors Day.

By January 15, the selection committee chair will send an e-mail request to every full-time faculty member, asking for the names of students believed to meet the qualifications. By February 1, or an earlier date if the Honors Program Committee so designates, the selection committee will receive the nominations, verify the qualifications of the nominees, and select a recipient. The committee chair will notify both the Honors Program Committee representative and the recipient of the selection.