Harvard's oldest academic honor, the Detur Prize was awarded last month to 123 sophomores who received the highest grades in the Group I academic group during their first year.
Many of those honored said they were surprised and proud to receive the award.
"I was very surprised to receive the Detur Prize because I didn't even know it existed," said John E. Howbert '98. "But I was extremely honored."
Each recipient is given a credit at The Coop in order to purchase a hard-back book of their choice. The book is then engraved with the Harvard and Detur shield, and a Detur Prize bookplate is placed in the inside cover.
"I didn't know about the prize beforehand, but I was extremely honored to receive it," said Sarah E. Jackson '98 who chose The Complete Poems of e.e. Cummings.
The prizes were awarded before the holidays at a ceremony in the Faculty Room at University Hall.
"I thought it was a very interesting ceremony because you heard a lot of history of the prize," said Howbert who chose Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot as his award book.
The prize was started by Edward Hopkins and is supported today by his foundation, the Charity of Edward Hopkins. A fund drive last year enabled the college to award twice as many prizes this year, according to an article in the Harvard University Gazette.
Recipients said they also enjoyed hearing the variety of book titles selected.
"When they awarded the actual book, they read off the title. It was fascinating to see what books everyone chose," Jackson said.
The exact GPA necessary to receive a Detur was not released, but the prize is given to the top students in Group I of the rank lists as determined by their first-year grades.
"I am not exactly sure what the prize was awarded for because they didn't say what [GPA] it took to win
Because the prize was given based on GPA, some receipts felt the divide between recipients and non-recipients is somewhat accidental.
"I think the line between getting one and not getting one...is very arbitrary. The people who got them should feel proud and lucky but really everyone should feel proud," said Roy E. Bahat '98.
Recipients of the prize included: Charlene S. Ahn, Roy E. Bahat, Joshua Barback, Michael R. Barrett, Ahment S. Berker, Anna K. Blair, Adam D. Borchert, Michelle K. Borras, Annabel L. Bradford, Abigail R. Branch, William W. Burke-White, Sewell Chan, Chen-Chen Chang, Hsin Chau, Julie A. Chen, Victor T. Chen, Van L. Cheng, Jaehyuk Choi, Angeline Y. Chong, Charlotte J. Chui, Megan P. Coffee, Daniel S. Cohan, Noah I. Dauber, Wu L. Dennis, Ryan H. Dougherty, Agnes Dunogue, Andrew C. Elito, David O. Ellis, David F. Elmer, Michael H. Feferman, Noah R. Feinstein and Stephanie Firos.
Also receiving the award were: Paul F. Fruchbom, Jason Frydman, Gopal Garuda, Hayley Gershengorn, Clifford M. Ginn, Jason M. Goldberg, Stephanine Gregerson, Thomas E. Guderson, Paul Hahn, Elizabeth A. Haynes, James M. Higbie, Ivan C. K. Ho, John E. Howbert, Richard J. Hughes, Sarah E. Jackson, Ramesh O. Johari, Andrea E. Johnson, Kevin B. Jones, William M. Kaminsky, Nina W. Kang, Fotini V. Kotopodes, Scott Y. Kim, Jeremy D. Kleiner, Jason E. Kolman, Ivy A. Ku, Jeffrey C. Kuo, David A. Lambert, Brian A. Lanman, Daniel T. Larson, Jeffrey C. Lau, Sandra Y. Lee, Vivian M. Lee, Tamara E. Levin, Joseph I. Levinson, Wilson J. Liao, Jenny S. Lian, Eric C. Liu, Franklin LIu, Kenneth Y. Liu, Amanda J. Lockshin, Jay P. Makadia, Michele A. Manahan, David W. Marcus, Joshua B. Maraks, William Martin-Doyle, Daniel P. Mason, Joshua H. McDermott, Joyelle H. McSweeney, Peter A. Mommsen, Karthi Muralidharan, Vivek H. Murthy, Osvaldo E. Pereira, Joshua B. Plotkin and Claire P. Prestel.
Other winners included Geoffrey C. Rapp, Pejman Razavilar, Kelly A. Register, Adina H. Rosenbaum, Natalka R. Roshak, Bret R. Rutherford, Brian J. Saccente, David H. Sachs, Jesse A. Sage, Nishit Saran Nathan K. Scales, Naomi K. Seiler, Jinsesh N. Shah, Danielle E. Sherrod, Merav Shohet, Shirin A. Sinnar, Sonja B. Starr, Rebecca E. Stich, Ellen H. Takata, Connie W. Tang, Gilbert H. Tang, Xiomeng Tong, Heidi S. Towne, Omri Traub, Miriam Udel, Katherine Unterman, Ellis M. Verosub, Jason W. Veysey, David M. Weld, Bradley L. Whitman, Benjamin Wilkinson, Hong Yu, Jong H. Yun, Shouyee Yung, Ian G. Zacharia and William M. Zerhouni