In addition to administration of the undergraduate curriculum, the Office of Undergraduate Education administers a few prizes, awards, and events. For information about prizes not listed here, please visit the Prize Office.
The Detur Book Prize
The Detur Book Prize is one of the oldest prizes at Harvard College. It recognizes sophomores who attained very high academic standing in their first year at the College and honors them with a book of their choice.
The Prize has its origins in the bequest of Edward Hopkins (1600-1657), an early governor of Connecticut, to Harvard College and the neighboring Cambridge grammar school “to give some Encouragement unto those foreign Plantations for the breeding up of Hopeful youth in the way of Learning…for the publick Service of the Country in future times.” The name “Detur” comes from the Latin detur digniori, “to the more worthy let it be given.”
The books chosen by the prize recipients are embossed with the Harvard and Detur seals and presented to the students at a ceremony hosted by the Dean of the College early in the spring term.
Faculty teaching awards
The Office of Undergraduate Education manages the selection process for two sets of undergraduate teaching awards, the Harvard College Professorships and the Roslyn Abramson Awards.
Each year, between four and six senior faculty in FAS are selected as Harvard College Professors on the basis of their dedication to educating undergraduate students and helping them develop their intellectual passions. Harvard College Professorships are five-year appointments, begun in 1997 through a gift of John and Frances Loeb. They provide faculty with extra support for research or scholarly activities, a semester of paid leave or summer salary.
Two Roslyn Abramson Awards for excellence in undergraduate teaching are given out each year to junior faculty in FAS. The award, which includes a monetary prize, was established with a gift from Edward Abramson ’57 in honor of his mother. It is given in recognition of “excellence and sensitivity in teaching undergraduates.” Recipients are chosen on the basis of their ability to communicate with and inspire undergraduates, their accessibility, and their dedication to teaching.