We want to recognize and reward outstanding students for their accomplishments and potential as scholars and writers in the field of English whenever possible.

Scholarships and Fellowships

Sigurd and Vivian D. Anderson Scholarship

The Vivian D. Anderson '32 Scholarship Fund, an endowed account, was established in 1981 by Sigurd Anderson, husband, and Kristin K. Anderson, daughter of Vivian D. Anderson, in memory of their wife and mother. The earnings from this endowment are to be used to support this scholarship.

The scholarship is awarded to "a student majoring in English with emphasis on English Literature and Grammar." Faculty members nominate deserving students, and a faculty committee appointed by the department chair then selects the recipients.

Betty Beasom Crew Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded to "a student majoring in English" and will be based on financial need and academic achievement. Tenured faculty members of the English Department shall select the recipient.

English Department Memorial Scholarship

This award is presented to "one or more students (graduate or undergraduate) who fulfill the following criteria:

  1. Inspires others in English.
  2. Contributes to department publications, projects or committees.
  3. Maintains a minimum grade point average of 3.0. 

Nominations are made by English Department faculty. Final selections are made by a committee appointed by the chair.

Alvina and Robert Hall Scholarship in English

Robert E. Hall, Jr. established this scholarship in the name of his mother and father, Alvina D. and Robert E. Hall, Sr. Hall, Jr. graduated from the University with a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in English in 1958 and 1959. Upon graduation, he taught English Composition at USD. He later became a highly successful real estate broker.

The scholarship is given to "deserving undergraduate English majors." Each faculty member may nominate students. A faculty committee appointed by the chair then selects the recipient.

Margaret B. Sanger Scholarship

Margaret B. Miller Sanger majored in English at USD, receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1908 and her Master of Arts degree in 1910. Mrs. William H. Beattys (Helen Miller, sister to Margaret), who left the bequest, graduated in 1912 from USD. The two sisters attended the University Preparatory School prior to enrolling in the university and both were members of the Alpha Xi Delta sorority.

USD English majors (including double majors) and English Education majors, as well as high schools seniors who have applied to USD and declared English or English education as a major, are eligible for the Sanger scholarship. Nominations are made by English Department faculty. Final selections are made by a committee appointed by the chair.

Dorothy Baisch Selz Memorial Scholarship

Dorothy Baisch Selz was a highly respected professor of English at USD.

This scholarship is awarded to a student who maintains an overall G.P.A. of 3.3 and a G.P.A. of 3.5 in English. Faculty members of the English Department shall select the recipient.

Elizabeth Shreves Scholarship

The scholarship was established by Catherine Shreves in her mother's name.

This scholarship goes to an English major, preferably a woman. Nominations are made by English Department faculty. Final selections are made by a committee appointed by the chair.

Freshman Scholarships

For freshman scholarships see Financial Aid.

For more information about any of these scholarships, please email us english@usd.edu.


Awards and Prizes

Creative Writing Awards

Competition is open to all USD students who will be returning in the subsequent semester. Submissions are due March 1 and will be reviewed by the creative writing faculty in the English Department. Winners will be awarded scholarships to be used in the following academic year. Instructions for submission are below. Email all materials to english@usd.edu or hard copy to the English Department, Dakota Hall 212.

Archer B. Gilfillan Scholarship (Undergraduate)

  • Submit 3-4 poems, one short story or one piece of creative non-fiction for consideration. You are free to submit work in more than one genre, but please submit only one entry per genre.
  • Make sure your name appears on your submission(s).
  • Include a cover sheet that lists your name, address, phone number, email address, class status (Freshman, Sophomore, Junior or Senior) and major.
  • Your cover sheet should indicate that you are applying for the Archer B. Gilfillan Scholarship.

Gladys Hasse Poetry Award (Graduate or Undergraduate)

  • Submit 10-15 pages of poetry.
  • Make sure your name appears on your submission.
  •  Include a cover sheet that lists your name, address, phone number, email address, class status (Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior or Graduate) and major.
  • Your cover sheet should indicate that you are applying for the Gladys Hasse Poetry Award.

Please note that if you are an undergraduate, all Hasse submissions will also automatically be considered for Gilfillan Scholarships as well. Similarly, submitting poems for Hasse consideration does not preclude you from entering a short story or piece of creative non-fiction for Gilfillan consideration.

Wayne S. and Esther M. Knutson Award for Playwriting (Graduate or Undergraduate)

  • Submit dramatic writing of performable length.
  • Make sure your name appears on your submission.
  •  Include a cover sheet that lists your name, address, phone number, email address, class status (Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior or Graduate) and major.
  • Your cover sheet should indicate that you are applying for the Knutson Award for Playwriting.

John G. Dow Prize in English

This endowed account was established in 1920 by a gift from Arnold L. Davis in honor of John G. Dow, an early USD professor of English.

This prize goes "to outstanding members of the senior graduating class" who have the "best knowledge of English diction with regard to purity of style and clarity of expression." Each faculty member may nominate deserving students. A faculty committee appointed by the chair then selects the recipient.

Thomas and Alice Gasque Study-in-Britain Award

This award was established in 2003 by USD English Professors Emeriti Thomas and Alice Gasque. 

It is awarded to a USD undergraduate with a grade point average of 3.2 or higher, with special preference given to English majors, for the purpose of studying in Great Britain.

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Elbert W. and Marjorie Harrington Book Award

This endowed account was established in 1976 by Dean Elbert Harrington and friends. The English Department is one of several departments that were specified to receive books.

This award consists of an appropriate book given to a "deserving student." Each faculty member may nominate students. A faculty committee appointed by the chair then selects the recipient, and one faculty member is designated to select the book.