The Hunter-Hamilton Love of Teaching Award seeks out and honors teachers whose way of life uniquely inspires the full potential of each student. This award is given to a Davidson College faculty member judged by his or her peers to display an exemplary love of teaching.

Teaching is at the heart of the Davidson experience. Alumni remember this; students feel it every day; the faculty makes it happen. The dynamic collection of faculty who teach at Davidson come from the world over with academic credentials from institutions large and small. They are scholars who engage in the international academic conversation, publishing, presenting at conferences, and researching in their disciplines. While they are indeed scholars—they must be—each one believes that his or her primary place is in the classroom. It is a matter of focus, priority, mission, and preference. They come to Davidson because they love to teach.

In 1992, the late Charlotte physician Jim Hamilton, Davidson Class of 1954, and his wife, Grey Hunter Hamilton, established an award at Davidson to recognize the special joy and enthusiasm that are part of the teaching profession. Beyond the joy, the Hamiltons sought to identify and honor teachers whose way of life uniquely inspires the full potential of each student, to celebrate professors whose care and enthusiasm mold and change the lives of their students, and who continue to inspire their students long after college days are over. In addition to the honor it bestows, the Hunter-Hamilton Love of Teaching Award carries a stipend of $15,000, half of which goes directly to the recipient and half of which goes to an academic department or program selected by the recipient.

Hunter-Hamilton Award Criteria

 The Hunter-Hamilton Love of Teaching Award is given each year to two Davidson College faculty members judged by a committee of their peers to display an exemplary love of teaching. The selection committee seeks letters from a wide spectrum of students, faculty, and alumni nominating Davidson professors who exemplify the love of teaching. The testimonies expressed in these nominations serve as the basis for each year’s selections. The winners are kept strictly confidential until they are announced each year during commencement.

A Hunter-Hamilton Candidate Must:

  • Be a full-time faculty member having taught at Davidson College for at least five years, including any sabbatical leave;
  • Have established a record of contagious enthusiasm for classroom teaching and tutelage;
  • Be dedicated and patient with students, with service to them being of highest priority;
  • Have the ability to stimulate extraordinary accomplishments in students, including those with average abilities as well as those with exceptional abilities;
  • Have an ability to clarify complex matters for students;
  • Be able to develop self-esteem, self-reliance, and a desire to learn in their students;
  • Treat students with dignity and respect, making every effort to know them by name.

    Former winners of the award have been Charles Ratliff (1992), Jeremiah Putnam (1993), and Alberto Hernandez-Chiroldes (1994).  Since 1995 the award has recognized two professors every year: Gill Holland and Malcolm Partin (1995), Tom Kazee and Felix Carroll (1996), Tony Abbott and Don Kimmel (1997), Cynthia Lewis and Bill Mahony (1998), Cole Barton and Lou Ortmayer (1999), Gail Gibson and Sally McMillen (2000), Peter Hess and Richie King (2001), Randy Nelson and Scott Denham (2002), Herb Jackson and Michael Toumazou (2003), Zoran Kuzmanovich and Ben Klein (2004), Bill Lawing and Jeanne Neumann (2005), Ralph Levering and Magdalena Maiz-Peña (2006), Randy Ingram and Kristi Multhaup (2007), Malcolm Campbell and John Wertheimer (2008), Ann Marie Costa and Karl Plank (2009), Elizabeth Mills and Durwin Striplin (2010), Keyne Cheshire and Nancy Fairley (2011), Julio Ramirez and Brian Shaw (2012), Peter Ahrensdorf and Vivien Dietz (2013), Trent Foley and Samuel Sánchez y Sánchez (2014), Larry Cain and Mark Foley (2015), Shelley Rigger and Fred Smith (2016), Barbara Lom and Cort Savage (2017), Verna Case and Joe Gardner (2018), Brenda Flanagan and Rebecca Joubin (2019), Mario Belloni and Nicole Snyder (2020), David Martin and Susan Roberts (2021), Shyam Gouri Suresh and Laurie Heyer (2022), and Sharon Green and Burkhard Henke (2023).

Nominate a Faculty Member

We invite alumni to to submit letters of nomination, recommendation, and support of faculty members who have conveyed a love of teaching. Your sentiments provide compelling testimony for selecting whom to honor within our excellent faculty. Letters of nomination for the Hunter-Hamilton Love of Teaching Award should go to the President's Office by mail or email.

In Memoriam

Dr. James Pressly Hamilton '54 and his wife Grey Hunter Hamilton established the award in 1992 in honor of their parents, Isabel Reid Hunter and Richard Moore (Tex) Hunter, lifelong devoted friends of Davidson College; and Frances Pressly Hamilton and Buford Lindsay Hamilton, servants of their Lord with forty-two years as missionaries in Pakistan.

Two winners are announced each year at spring commencement.