Congratulations to the class of 2021! Despite changes to our routines due to University measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we are proud to present members from the graduating class with Residential College Senior Awards. Faculty submit nominations for students who have demonstrated outstanding achievement during their time at U-M. Congratulations to these awardees and all the RC seniors for your hard work and contributions over the past many years. Under usual circumstances, these honors would have been conferred at the annual RC Senior Dinner. This year, we celebrate the winners with spotlights via RC social media. 


Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Creative Arts – The “Robbies”

Established in 2000, to honor the founding Director of the RC, James H. Robertson, the “Robbies” are given to students who have shown a high level of achievement in one of creative arts in the RC. Typically seven to ten graduating seniors who have excelled in Creative Writing, Drama, Music or the Studio Arts over their RC careers receive recognition and a modest stipend. Faculty in the various creative arts programs discuss student names among themselves and put forward nominations.

Award for Outstanding Service in Community Engagement – The “Tommies”

The Residential College established these awards in 2006 to honor former RC Director, Thomas Weisskopf. The “Tommies” are given annually to students who have made substantial contributions to the communities around them – whether to East Quad, to the University campus, or to communities in the region or beyond – during their undergraduate careers.

Award for Exceptional Achievement in a Foreign Language - The “Janets”

This award, inaugurated in 2010 and renamed in 2015 to celebrate Janet Hegman Shier, former head of the RC German Program and Director and Faculty Administrator of RC Deutsches Theater, is given to graduating seniors who have shown outstanding accomplishments in the mastery of foreign languages, including a deep engagement with a language and its culture beyond proficiency, the active use of a second language in the RC or surrounding communities through community engagement programs and/or the arts, and/or a serious engagement with more than one foreign language. Language faculty often consult with each other about nominees and students may be nominated for more than one language.

The Spirit of the RC Award – The “Charlie”

Established in 2013 to honor former RC Director, the Charlie is awarded to the member of the senior class who best exhibits the animating spirit of the RC as defined by a demonstrated commitment to the RC and its mission in undergraduate education. She or he or they has embraced the values associated with the liberal arts and a well-rounded education; has taken full advantage of all that the RC has to offer and has encouraged others to do the same; has played a significant leadership role as a part of this community; and has excelled academically.

The Emerging Writers Award

The Emerging Writers Award was established in 2014 to recognize, nurture and encourage creative writers in the Residential College’s creative writing program who demonstrate excellence in creative writing but have not previously received a writing award recognizing their writing achievements.

Congratulations to these awardees, and to all graduates of the RC class of 2021! Go Blue! and go RC!