Academic Honors and Awards
At the start of each spring semester, Class Marshals and Banner Bearers are selected by School of Hotel Administration (SHA) faculty to represent the graduating class at Commencement. Two degree marshals and three banner bearers (plus two alternates) are chosen based on academic excellence as measured by the cumulative grade-point average at the end of the preceding year fall semester.
Senior students are selected to receive Graduation with Distinction based on academic excellence. This is measured by the cumulative grade-point average at the end of the fall semester. Out of the top-fifteen percent of graduates for the calendar year, up to ten percent may be selected to receive this honor.
The Latin Honors program was established to promote the school's mission to create and disseminate knowledge about hospitality management to the global hospitality industry by encouraging student research. Students leverage theories acquired from coursework to create new knowledge, to develop meaningful relationships with faculty thesis advisors, and to demonstrate mastery of research skills to graduate schools and future employers. In the final year of study, students engage in two semesters and six credits of research directed by the school's professorial faculty and are recognized upon completion with a Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, or Summa Cum Laude designation. This is commensurate with the quality of their completed theses and academic qualifications. See Latin Honors Policy for further information.
Merrill Presidential Scholars rank among the top-five percent in their respective schools and colleges at the university. In SHA, two fourth-year students selected by the dean may pay tribute to the secondary school and college teachers who have had a vital effect on their academic careers. The students and their teachers are honored at a luncheon hosted by the president of the university, generally in the week immediately preceding Commencement.