Honors in History

History majors may, in addition to university honors, receive three different recognitions at Hampden-Sydney College.

Phi Alpha Theta
History majors, as well as any Hampden-Sydney student who has taken at least four courses in history and meets the national requirements, may be invited to join the college's Psi Rho chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the national honor society in history.

The Bliss Awards
The Department annually awards the Willard F. Bliss and Etta Sawyer Hart Bliss History Awards. These recognize, respectively, a distinguished sophomore and a distinguished senior history student. Established in 1983 by alumnus Willard Hart Jr., the awards commemorate Hart's mother and his stepfather, historian William F. Bliss.  Recent recipients include:


Nathan R. Ryalls (Etta Bliss Award)

Kevin Richard Gutermuth (Williard Bliss Award)


Morrison Waite Thomas (Etta Bliss Award)

John L. Gibson IV (Willard Bliss Award)


Scott Campbell Matthew (Etta Bliss Award)

John Colbert Lucey (Willard Bliss Award)


Christian Verdier L'Heureux (Etta Bliss Award)

George Pendelton Stephenson (Willard Bliss Award)


Andrew Daniel Baker (Etta Bliss Award)

Scott Campbell Matthew (Willard Bliss Award)


Joseph Rosario Sanzone (Etta Bliss Award)

Andrew Williams Patterson (Willard Bliss Award)


James A. Steelman (Etta Bliss Award)

George W. Zuban (Etta Bliss Award)

Kevin P. R. Hennerez (Willard Bliss Award)

Kerry L. Burke (Willard Bliss Award)


Matthew Stephen Hartman (Etta Bliss Award)

John R. Childs (Willard Bliss Award)


Atif S. Gaddis (Etta Bliss Award)

Thomas R. Nelson, Jr. (Willard Bliss Award)


Kemper M. Beasley III (Etta Bliss Award)

William J. Tyalor (Etta Bliss Award)

David W. Capper (Willard Bliss Award)


Daniel B. Larison (Etta Bliss Award)

Atif S. Gaddis (Willard Bliss Award)


William Brian Hamilton (Etta Bliss Award)

Kemper M. Beasley III (Willard F. Bliss Award)

History Department Honors Theses and Interdisciplinary Senior Fellow Theses

Students may take the option to undertake a departmental honors thesis or a senior fellowship. These represent extended, usually year-long, research and writing projects; senior fellows' projects are interdisciplinary and incorporate faculty from at least two departments, with greater research and writing expectations. Departmental honors requires a major grade point average of 3.3, while senior fellows need a cumulative grade point average 3.5.  


Newman Ainsley, Integration of Islamic finance into the United Kingdom.

Bryan Vanetten, Please Ignore the Women Behind the Curtain: Please ignore the women behind the curtain: Maria Theresa, Madame de Pompadour, Elizabeth of Russia, and the roles of women in politics in the Diplomatic Revolution of 1756.


Christopher Scott Thompson, The Devil Himself Could Not Catch That Old Fox.

Ross Van Tuyl, For God or for Profit: An Economic reading of Chaucer's Shipman's Tale from the Canterbury Tales. Senior Fellowship in History and Literary Analysis.


Timothy T. Brown, Jr., Simon Iturri Patiño: The Epitome of Entrepreneurship or a Hated Exploitative Industrialist?


Bryan Hicks, The Spot Ad Candidate: The Influence of Television on Presidential Politics, 1952-1964.


David W. Capper, From Chieftain to King: The Development of Frankish Royal Power, 481-639 AD.

Jordan H. Gaul IV, Free and Independent States: The Problem of Divided Sovereignty in Antebellum History.

Daniel Gordon, The Resilient, Enduring Contradiction: The Symbolization of the Bastille de Paris.

Cory B. Rayfield, A Hellish Crew? Terrorism and the Sons of Liberty.

G.W. Zuban, From Relationships to Rights: Savles, Freedmen, and the Push for Equality in Prince Edward County, Virgnia.


Joel Casey Carwile, The American Wars in the Barbary: A Consideration.

Matthew Hartman, The Emergence of Indigenous Fascism in France and Spain, 1923-1939.


William S. Koehler, America and Japan: Road to War.

Justin Turner, The Bay of Pigs: Partial Commitment; Total Failure.


Kemper Beasley III, Churchill: Machiaevlli's Prince or Modern Statesman? 

Craig Elkins, "We Shall Simply Have to Cast Them Off": Mansfield's and Hemingway's Challenges to Early Twentieth-Century Gender Roles. Senior Fellowship in English & History.

Robert Lampkin, The Life and Death of a Revolutionary: Che Guevera, Bolivia and the United States.


John Jividen, The American Hero Through the Eyes of Tom Wolfe.

Daniel Larison. Images of Identity: Byzantine Universalism, Orthodox Reformation and the Growth of the State. Senior Fellowship in History & Religion.

Hunter Smith, A Selfish Nationalist.


Brian Hamilton, The Mongol-Christian Alliance: Would it Have Changed the Levant?

Travis Hardy, The Modernized Monkey: The Scopes Trial and the American Debate Between Fundamentalism and Modernism.


John D. Jordan, The Crusaders: A Study of the Composition of the European Armies of the First Crusade.

Daniel F. Layman, Predestination, Original Sin, and Radicalism: The Anabaptists and the Augstinian Tradition

James E. Thatcher, Filmed History: Alternative Representations of the Past.


Joshua L. Bettridge, John F. Kennedy and the Diplomacy of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Mark Finelli, The Business of War or the War of Business.

Gergory W. Harmon, Mamluks, Mongols and Armenians: Religion, War and Diplomacy in Thirteenth-Century Armenia.

Jonathan L. Schneider, Amphibious Operations of the United States Marine Corps in the Second World War.


Carlysle Johnson, The Face of Battle: 178th Field Artillery Battalion Remembers WWII.


James A. Crowell IV, "Man on a white horse:" A Sutdy of the Great Leaders of France and Why in a Moment of Crisis the French Turn to These Authoritarian Figures.

Matthew F. K. McDaniel, "No Regrets:" Interviews with World War II Airmen

Will Rabke, Knights Templars as Financiers: A Survey of their Activities from Moneylending to Royal Depository.


Christopher Watkins Bishop, Der Kaiser und der Khalif: The German Jihad in the First World War.

Scott J. Pietan, Romulo Betancourt: The Evolution ofa  Venezuelan Statesman and the Founding of a Democracy.


John E. Day, Steppe Politics in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries: Russian, Ottoman and Crimean Relations

Matthew Karnitsching, A Study of Politics and Anti-Semitism in Fin-de-siecle Vienna.


Brian Irving, The Tragic Disciples: An Examination of Russian Radicals During the Reign of Alexander II.


Gary Helm Darden, Germany's Status as a World Power in the Context of the Treaty of Versailles (1919).

Robert F. Lemert, The Scottish Highland Clan System: Its Breakdown and the Effects on the Highland Society.

Thomas J. Ward, Jr., The Suppression of Civil Liberties in Maryalnd During the Civil War.


David F. Simpson, "No Marriage, No Coronation:" The Abdication of King Edward VIII and its Impact on the British Monarchy.


Don E. Marshall, IRA Violence Since 1960: Terrorism or Guerilla Warfare.

W. James Young, United States Policy Towards French Indochina: The Roost of Involvement, 1945-1950.


Will Burke, The Warrior and the Campaigner: A Comparison of the Leadership Qualities of Richard I and Saladin as Displayed in the Third Crusade.


Philp Edwards Harper, Winchester and the Secession of Virginia: 1859-1861.