Skip Navigation

Student Awards and Scholarships

Skip Side Navigation
Dean Nicole Campbell stands with a student winner of one of the 2011 University College awards; picture sized for feature tab

During the 1995-1996 academic year, University College Assistant Dean Myrna Carney and Director of Advising Sue Shellabarger dreamed of finding a vehicle to recognize and honor freshmen who excelled during their first semester at the University of Oklahoma.  These conversations resulted in the creation of University College PACE Award.

PACE awards represent outstanding accomplishments in four areas, limited to student performance during the fall semester only.

The PACE acronym is interpreted as:     

  • Participation in recognized campus clubs and activities
  • Academic achievement with a minimum of 3.25 in 14 hours
  • Community service either on campus or in the metro area
  • Excellence in leadership positions on campus including residence life

Freshman students may be nominated by faculty, staff, academic advisers, organization sponsors, student organization presidents, and housing resident advisers, or students may self-nominate.  A committee composed of University College administrators and staff reviews all nominations and then selects up to one percent (1%) of the total number of entering freshmen in any given year as PACE recipients.

Students who submit applications for PACE Award will also be considered for awards listed below.

Applications are being accepted for this year's PACE Awards. All applications must be completed by February 1st of every year.

Apply for the PACE Award through CASH

Mr. Dennis McLaughlin graduated from OU in 1992 with an economics degree, and has since launched and guided several successful businesses. Entrepreneur Magazine honored him with the "Fastest Growing Small Business" of the Year in 1995. Mr. McLaughlin valued his experience in University College and helped to establish the McLaughlin Awards and the Ann Balch Awards to honor his grandmother. These awards honor several of our top students in University College. Recipients are selected from PACE Award applicants.

The Myrna Carney award is a special University College Award, established to honor Dr. Myrna Carney for her 24 years of service as Assistant Dean in University College. Recipients are selected from PACE Award applicants.

The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi is the oldest and largest interdisciplinary honor society in the United States.  Since 2006, the OU Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi has recognized outstanding freshmen who have distinguished themselves in their academic achievements at OU. Recipients are selected from PACE Award applicants.

This award is given by Dean Nicole Campbell to honor her father's devotion to sustaining the environment. Recipients are selected from PACE Award applicants.

The Sylvia Corwin Education Award was established in 2005 by the Corwin family to honor their mother/grandmother, Sylvia. This award seeks to honor the most promising first-year student pursuing a career in Elementary Education. Recipients are selected from the PACE Award applicants.

Dan Tankersley had a strong affection for the University of Oklahoma. His family endowed this scholarship in his name to assist and reward students who have overcome life obstacles and demonstrated academic perseverance to progress toward graduation. Mr. Tankersley believed that individuals could pull themselves up by their bootstraps to work another day. This award is presented by the Center for Student Advancement.

ALD Logo (Alpha Lambda Delta)

Alpha Lambda Delta is a national honor society for freshmen sponsored by the department of Freshman Programs. The purpose of Alpha Lambda Delta is to encourage superior academic attainment among students in their first year in institutions of higher education, to promote intelligent living and a continued high standard of learning, and to assist students in recognizing and developing meaningful goals for their unique roles in society.

To become a member of Alpha Lambda Delta, you must meet the following criteria:

1. Complete a minimum of 12 letter graded hours during their first fall semester at OU
2. Have at least a 3.5 fall OU GPA
3. Have no grades of D, F, I, N or U for fall semester
4. Accept the invitation sent to you via email in early January
5. Pay the required dues online by the posted deadline date

Learn more about the OU ALD chapter

Each year, the University College Staff nominates UC students to be honored as the University College banner carrier at the May Commencement ceremony. UC Administration selects one of these nominees as the official banner carriers based on their academic success. Below are UC's banner carriers by year:

  • Jarad Anderson (2019)
  • Paige Portwood (2013)
  • Wamika Kumar (2012)
  • Christopher Julius (2011)
  • Zachary Hedrick (2010)
  • Marcus “Tad” Autry (2009)
  • Karen Matambo (2008)
  • Jesus Avila (2007)
  • Jonathan Caddell (2006)
  • Shannon Kay (2005)
  • Nneamaka Ajalla (2004)
  • Blaire Bowers (2003)
  • Christopher Steelman, Lindsey Bowen (2002)
  • Stephanie Luce, Gary Schooler (2001)

The Alison Smith Overbay Scholarship Fund was set up by Eddie Carol Smith & Shirley Jean Smith as a way to honor their daughter. Dr. Eddie Carol Smith is the former Vice President for Research at OU. The scholarship is endowed at a level that will allow a scholarship in the amount of $1500 for the fall semester.

The Miller Family Scholarship was established in 2014 by Todd & Stephanie Miller. The scholarship is endowed at a level that will allow a scholarship in the amount of $500 for the fall semester.

The scholarship seeks a student that is a military dependent, with a strong work ethic, who is earning his or her own way through college.
Specific Criteria for the award are:

  • University College student at the time of nomination
  • Proof of status as a military dependent
  • 3.0 or higher GPA.
  • Indication of financial need.
  • Clear sense of purpose and direction and positive attitude.
  • Strong work ethic

The Milton V. Brown Scholarship was established in 1986 by the Milton V. Brown Foundation. The scholarship seeks a student with a strong work ethic, who is earning his or her own way through college. Mr. Brown writes: I seek a student who despite obstacles and difficulties has managed to overcome them and qualify for a college education. The scholarship is endowed at a level that will allow a scholarship in the amount of $9000. The scholarship will begin the fall semester of the student’s second year and continue for a total of 6 semesters at a rate of $1500 per semester. One student will be selected each spring semester.

The Pitts Scholarship honors the memory of Captain Riley L. Pitts of Oklahoma City.  Captain Pitts died on the Vietnam battlefield on October 31, 1967, while serving as Commander of Company C, 2/27th Infantry, 25 Infantry Division.  He is the only Oklahoman to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War, and was the first black officer to ever receive this award.  The Medal of Honor is our country’s highest award for heroism in combat.  President Lyndon B. Johnson presented the medal to Captain Pitt’s widow, Mrs. Eula Pitts, on October 10, 1968.  This scholarship was established and financially supported by the Coca-Cola Foundation and many friends and family members of Riley and Eula Pitts. The scholarship is for $2500.

UC Awards Ceremony

Recipients of University College awards and scholarships will be invited to receive their award(s) at the University College Awards Ceremony typically held in early April.