At the VHD State Contest, students will be eligible to win the following special awards. Students may wish to consider these awards while choosing a topic. See below for a comprehensive list of current special awards.
BENTON S. HALSEY TEACHING EXCELLENCE AWARD
The Brenton S. Halsey Teaching Excellence Award will be awarded to a Virginia public, private, or home school educator who teaches social studies, history, or civics and participates in the Virginia History Day program. Teachers will be nominated for the $500 prize by their VHD District coordinators. The teacher receiving this award demonstrates an understanding of history and enthusiasm for the subject, fosters a spirit of inquiry and the development of critical thinking skills among students, uses and promotes innovative and creative teaching techniques and materials, and provides leadership in the field of history education.
BOBBY CHANDLER SENIOR PROJECT AWARD
The Bobby Chandler Senior Project Award recognizes a Senior Division project that demonstrates distinction in historical research and scholarship related to Virginia history. The $750 award, made possible through the Kip Kephart Foundation, is given to a project that is creative, uses original primary source materials, and demonstrates a knowledge and understanding of some facet of Virginia’s past. Special consideration will be given to projects that connect local history to a statewide, nationwide, or worldwide topic.
ANNE R. WORRELL JUNIOR PROJECT AWARD
The Anne R. Worrell Junior Project Award recognizes a Junior Division project that demonstrates distinction in historical research and scholarship related to Virginia history. The $500 award is given to a project that is creative, uses original primary source materials, and demonstrates a knowledge and understanding of some facet of Virginia’s past. Special consideration will be given to projects that connect local history to a statewide, nationwide, or worldwide topic.
ENCYLOPEDIA VIRGINIA ELEMENTARY PROJECT AWARD
The Encyclopedia Virginia Elementary Project Award recognizes an Elementary Division project that demonstrates distinction in historical research and scholarship related to Virginia history. The $250 award is given to a project that is creative, uses original primary source materials, and demonstrates a knowledge and understanding of some facet of Virginia’s past. Special consideration will be given to projects that connect local history to a statewide, nationwide, or worldwide topic.
2021 A.E. DICK HOWARD PRIZE IN VIRGINIA CONSTITUTIONAL HISTORY
2021 marks the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the current Constitution of Virginia. To celebrate this milestone, the John Marshall Center for Constitutional History & Civics offers a $1,000 prize to an entry in the Junior or Senior Division that demonstrates superior understanding of Virginia’s constitutional tradition and how the rights and duties of citizens (or of government) have changed over time. This award is given in honor of A.E. Dick Howard, Professor of Law at the University of Virginia, former member of the John Marshall Center’s board, and Executive Director of Virginia’s Commission on Constitutional Revision (1968-1971).
THE BETSY S. BARTON HISTORY DAY SCHOLARSHIP
The Betsy S. Barton History Day Scholarship honors a high school junior or senior (11th or 12th grader) who is a passionate advocate for history education and who is deeply committed to including all voices in our shared historical narrative. For Betsy, teaching history was an evolving exercise in teaching humanity and tolerance, a means of forging connections across time and space. She inspired and impacted a generation of young people and educators alike as an enthusiastic steward of history education. This $1,000 scholarship will be given to the Virginia History Day project in any “individual” category that best represents the spirit of how Betsy taught and thought about history.
VIRGINIA MUSEUM OF HISTORY & CULTURE WOMEN'S HISTORY AWARD
The role of women in history has often been overlooked. To honor the importance of this field, the VMHC will present an award to both a Junior and Senior Division entry that demonstrates superior research and scholarship related to the contribution, accomplishments, experiences, or perspectives of women in history. Each winning project will receive a $200 prize.
THE GEORGE C. MARSHALL AWARD IN DIPLOMACY
The George C. Marshall International Center will present an award to both a Junior and Senior Division entry that focuses on diplomacy. In honor of Secretary of State George C. Marshall (1947–1949), entries should show how effective diplomacy, at any time in history, combines selflessness and integrity with national interests, all principles for which Marshall stood. The winning entry in the Junior and Senior Divisions will receive $100 and a family pass to visit George C. Marshall’s historic home in Leesburg, Virginia.
NAVAL ORDER OF THE UNITED STATES AWARD IN NAVAL HISTORY
The Naval Order of the Unites States’ “charge” is to encourage research and writing on naval and maritime subjects, including the Marine Corps and United States Coast Guard, and to promote the preservation of historic artifacts and memories of our naval and maritime history. NOUS will present an award, $200 prize to Senior Division entry , and $100 prize to Junior Division entry that best explores naval history and related maritime subjects.
MCV FOUNDATION MEDICAL HISTORY PRIZE
The work of scientists, physicians, and nurses in the field of medicine has profoundly shaped the world we live in today. A deeper understanding of the human body and diseases has increased lifespans and led to a more complete comprehension of our environment. To honor the importance of this field, the MCV Foundation will present an award to both a Junior and Senior Division entry that demonstrates superior research and scholarship related to medical history. Each winning project will receive a $200 prize.
THE GEORGE WASHINGTON LEADERSHIP PRIZE
Presented by George Washington’s Mount Vernon, this $500 prize will be awarded to outstanding projects in both the Junior and Senior Divisions that demonstrate an understanding of the lasting impact of George Washington’s leadership in both American and World History. Special consideration will be given to projects that use innovative and compelling ways to showcase how Washington’s legacy of personal, political, and military leadership had a lasting impact on people and moments in history.
ASALH RICHMOND AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY PRIZE
The Richmond chapter of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) will present an award to the project that best promotes, researches, preserves, interprets, or disseminates information about Black life, history, or culture in the global community. The winner in the Senior Division will receive a $100 prize, the winner in the Junior Division will receive a $75 prize and the winner in the Elementary Division will receive a $50 prize.
NATIONAL MARITIME HISTORICAL SOCIETY
The National Maritime Historical Society seeks to inform all Americans, young and old alike, of the rich maritime heritage of our country and its importance, not only in the past, but most importantly to the future of the nation. NMHS will award prizes in both the Junior and Senior Divisions to projects focused on the maritime heritage of the country. First prize in both Divisions includes a $100 prize for each project as well as a one-year membership in NMHS and a subscription to Sea History for each participant and their mentoring teacher. Second place in both Divisions will receive a $50 prize as well as a one-year membership in NMHS and a subscription to Sea History for each participant and their mentoring teacher.
JOHN MARSHALL CENTER PRIZE FOR POLITICAL HISTORY AND CIVICS
Colonial Virginians established the first elected legislative body in America in 1619, and the Commonwealth ratified ten amendments to the Constitution in 1791, giving the United States its Bill of Rights. To highlight this legacy, the John Marshall Center for Constitutional History & Civics will present an award to both a Junior and Senior Division entry that demonstrates superior understanding of the rights and duties of citizens, how government works, or why it has changed over time at the local, state, or federal level. Each winning project will receive a $200 prize.
MACARTHUR MEMORIAL PRIZE
The General Douglas MacArthur Foundation will present three awards: one each for the Elementary, Junior, and Senior Divisions. The awards will be given to outstanding entries that focus on some aspect of WWI, WWII, the Occupation of Japan, or the Korean War - all events in which General MacArthur participated. The Elementary Division winner will receive a $50 prize and the Junior and Senior Division winner will receive a $100 prize. All winners will also receive a MacArthur Commemorative Medallion.
MARY BICOUVARIS AWARD IN VIRGINIA HISTORY
The Mary Bicouvaris Award in Virginia History is given by her friends in honor of her many years of service to students and teachers in Hampton City Public Schools and Hampton Roads Academy and as a Professor of Education at Christopher Newport University. She believed that the most important job in the world was teaching and her love of democracy was her teaching trademark. The Mary Bicouvaris Award in Virginia History will be presented to both a Junior and Senior Division entry focused on any aspect of Virginia history. Each student participant responsible for the winning projects will receive $50.00.
VIRGINIA HISTORY DAY CUP
The Virginia Museum of History & Culture seeks to recognize the contributions of Virginia schools to Virginia History Day at the local, District, and State levels. Beginning in 2018, the Virginia Museum of History & Culture will award a trophy and recognize the school with the greatest participation in the season-long competition.
Participation will be determined by points, which will be awarded as follows:
1. Percentage of eligible students (4th-5th, 6th-8th, 9th-12th grades) participating in each school (100pts max for 100% participation, 10pts min)
K-6 elementary schools will receive points based on the number of 4th, 5th, and 6th graders participating, whereas a 6-8 middle school will be based on the total number of students.
Every school that participates in VHD will receive at least 10 points.
School-level participation will be reported by a teacher or administrator to the VHD Coordinator or the District coordinator.
We hope to encourage all social studies and civics classes to participate in the program, whether or not they go on to compete at the District level.
2. number of students who receive 1st and 2nd place in the District competition (63pts max in 9 categories, weighted by rank, 4pts for 1st place and 3pts for 2nd place)
This level of points will reward the quality of projects coming from a school, and not just the quantity of participants.
3. number of students who receive 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place at the State competition (54pts max in 9 categories, weighted by rank, 3pts for 1st place, 2pts for 2nd place, and 1pt for 3rd place)
The weight of these points is to not significantly penalize eligible students that cannot attend the state competition.