The 2018 Josephine Daggett Prize

Publication Date

The recipient of the Josephine Daggett Prize is selected by the faculty and the prize is awarded annually to the fourth-year student deemed to be of the best character and conduct.

“Extraordinary,” “remarkable,” “fascinating,” “engaging,” “empathetic,” “curious”, “humble,” “kind,” “generous,” “gentle but wonderfully strong,” and “exemplifying our highest ideals regarding liberal arts education.” These are among the words and phrases used by nominators to describe this year’s Daggett Prize recipient.

A talented student, our Daggett recipient has a distinguished record in the classroom and has been awarded membership in a number of honors societies, including Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Delta Kappa, Pi Sigma Alpha Zeta Upsilon, and Delta Phi Alpha. Even among our wonderfully talented students, our Daggett recipient stands out.

As one nominator wrote, our Daggett recipient has taken full advantage of everything Union has to offer but, more importantly, has generously given back to campus as well as local and global communities. Another nominator observed that our Daggett recipient is “100% present.” Awarded a Davis Projects for Peace grant, our Daggett recipient helped develop a program called “Writing Our Communities” which empowered Schenectady high school students and brought the College together with key Schenectady institutions. As a recipient of a Critical Language Scholarship, our Daggett recipient studied Urdu in India. As a recipient of a Fulbright Teaching Assistantship, our Daggett recipient will travel to Germany next year to teach English and U.S. Culture.

Our Daggett recipient has served as House Coordinator in Golub House. He has been an active participant in DDD – Dinner and Discussion Around Diversity. He has served as Co-President of the Interfaith Youth Corps which promotes dialogue and understanding. Our Daggett recipient has also served as head delegate for Union College’s Model United Nations, an embedded writing tutor, and a Minerva Mentor for first-year students.

In awarding today’s Daggett Prize, we do indeed recognize character and conduct. We honor a persistence which is contagious, a sensitivity to others that is to be admired, a curiosity that is to be modeled, a calming presence, and a commitment to the intellectual life that is unsurpassed. In awarding today’s Daggett Prize, we honor a wonderful human being. We are pleased to present Gianluca Avanzato with the Josephine Daggett Prize.