- The Rev. James V. Schall, S.J. Award for Teaching and Humane Letters
- The Rev. James V. Schall, S.J. Student Essay Award
- Tocqueville Forum Senior Thesis Prize
The Rev. James V. Schall, S.J. Award for Teaching and Humane Letters was created to honor individuals who embody the teaching excellence and scholarly breadth and impact of the Rev. James V. Schall, S.J., Professor of Government at Georgetown University. A renowned teacher and prolific author, Father Schall’s contributions defending classical liberal learning and his engagement with the enduring questions about “what is” have influenced generations of students and readers. The Award is conferred annually upon an individual who shares Father Schall’s commitment to liberal education, the great books, and the philosophical and religious traditions of the West. The Award is $5,000. The recipient delivers a lecture in conjunction with the Award ceremony at Georgetown University.
In creating the Rev. James V. Schall, S.J. Award, the Tocqueville Forum on the Roots of American Democracy honors the example of Father Schall and calls attention to the permanent need for such teachers and scholars. It further acknowledges the debt that students owe to great teachers. As Father Schall has written in his book A Student’s Guide to Liberal Learning:
Students … ‘owe’ something to their teachers; to wit, their interest, their study habits, their good will, their diligence, their very capacity to learn something they do not already know….The kind of ‘owing’ I have in mind here reaches to issues of honor, of integrity, and above all, to the effort it takes to know the truth for its own sake.
The Rev. James V. Schall, S.J. Award acknowledges our debt to truth-seeking teachers of integrity and honor.
Out of just such a sense of obligation, Michael Maibach – a former student of Father Schall – and The Maibach Fund have generously supported the creation of this Award. The Tocqueville Forum is grateful for his generosity and confers the Award in the same spirit of gratitude.
Schall Award Recipients
- The Inaugural Rev. James V. Schall Award for Teaching and Humane Letters was bestowed upon Ralph McInerny, Michael P. Grace Professor of Medieval Studies, University of Notre Dame
McInerny's lecture, titled "There Was a Man! On Learning to be Free", is available here.
- The Second Annual Rev. James V. Schall Award for Teaching and Humane Letters was bestowed upon Leon Kass, Addie Clark Harding Professor in the College and the Committee on Social Thought, University of Chicago.
Kass' lecture, titled "Defending Human Dignity: What It Is and Why It Matters", is available here.
- The Third Annual Rev. James V. Schall Award for Teaching and Humane Letters was bestowed upon George Carey, Professor of Government, Georgetown University.
His lecture is titled "Constitutional Morality and the Crisis of our Time" and is available here.
- The Fourth Annual Rev. James V. Schall Award for Teaching and Humane letters was bestowed upon Msgr. Robert Sokolowski, Elizabeth Breckenridge Caldwell Professor of Philosophy at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
Msgr. Sokolowski gave a lecture in conjunction with the award ceremony on Thursday, April 28th, 2011. His lecture was titled "Truth and the Human Person" and is available here.
(Above: Student Essay Award winner Anthony Piccirillo shakes hands with Schall Award recipient Leon Kass while Dr. Deneen, the Founding Director of the Forum, Dr. Brust, Former Associate Director of the Forum, and Father James V. Schall, S.J., himself look on.) The Tocqueville Forum has inaugurated the annual Rev. James V. Schall, S.J. Student Essay Award. This award, generously supported by Michael Maibach – a former student of Father Schall – and The Maibach Fund, has been created to honor a Georgetown undergraduate student who shares Rev. James V. Schall’s, S.J., Professor of Government at Georgetown University, commitment to liberal arts education, the great books, and the philosophical and religious traditions of the West. Contestants must read an article by Father Schall and write their essay in response.
The Award includes a cash prize of $500, a certificate of recognition, and an autographed copy of one of Father Schall's books. Copies of the essay are distributed at the award ceremony and posted on the Tocqueville Forum's website. We also award three "Honorable Mentions" who receive an autographed copy of one of Father Schall's books.
The conferral of the student essay Award and the honorable mentions are held in conjunction with the conferral of the annual Rev. James V. Schall, S.J. Award for Teaching and Humane Letters, given to a teacher and scholar exemplifying these same commitments.
Schall Essay Award Recipients
First Annual Rev. James V. Schall, S.J. Student Essay Award winner: Anthony C. Piccirillo (SFS '09) “Can Democratic Tyranny Exist in the United States?” The essay is available to read here.
Second Annual Rev. James V. Schall, S.J. Student Essay Award winner: Scott A. Gray (COL '10) “Christian Virtue and Ordered Liberty” The essay is available to read here.
Third Annual Rev. James V. Schall, S.J. Student Essay Award winner: Justin R. Hawkins (COL '11) “Personal Virtue and the American Republic” The essay is available to read here.
To further its contribution to academic life at Georgetown University, the Tocqueville Forum sponsors a Senior Thesis Prize through the Department of Government. In sponsoring this award, the Forum hopes to encourage students in their pursuit of academic excellence. This prize is awarded annually for the best senior Honor’s thesis on a theme or topic that explores American or Western ideals or institutions in keeping with the Tocqueville Forum’s mission.
The winner receives a $250 award, is honored at the Awards Brunch just before graduation, and is recognized with a certificate.
Thesis advisors, the Honors Director, or the student authors themselves submit nominations. The deadline for subissions is the due date of the draft submitted to the thesis directors; please submit them to the Associate Director of the Tocqueville Forum, Andrew Litschi, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Spring 2010, the Forum was pleased to confer the first annual Tocqueville Forum Senior Thesis Prize upon Ryan Berg (C ’10) for his excellent Department of Government Honors thesis titled “Toward A Thymotic Politics: An Analysis of Voter Ignorance on Mediocrity in Modern Liberal Democracy” and an Honorable Mention to Caitlin Boland (C ’10) for her excellent thesis titled “One Nation Under $: Ayn Rand in the American Political Tradition.”
In Spring 2011, Christopher Tosetti (COL '11) was selected as the winner for the Second Annual Tocqueville Forum Government Honors Thesis award. His excellent thesis, titled "The Hour of Decisionism: Four Chapters on the Concept of Judicial Power" showed an incredible depth of understanding, analysis, insight, and creativity. Katherine Bermingham and Katelyn Jones were named as honorable mentions for their theses -- “Liberal Individualism and the Encumbrance of Love” and “Finding the Nakedness of Reality: Solitude’s Relationship to Politics in Hannah Arendt’s Political Theory," respectively.