Physics & Astronomy Student Awards

Each spring the Department of Physics and Astronomy honors its outstanding students with departmental awards. We invite others to join us in celebrating their achievements.


Presented to outstanding upper-class students majoring in physics. The award was endowed by a gift in honor of Robert O. Whitesell ’39 by his friends and business associates. Whitesell earned degrees in both physics and mathematics.

  • 2023:  Julia Herkert, Joshua Wanninger
  • 2022: Jonathan Myers, Aryn Stahl

Recognizes outstanding work by a first-year physics major.

  • 2023:  Devin Kelleher
  • 2022: Tucker Hurst

Created in honor of Dr. Marshall Dixon, Professor Emeritus of Physics, who holds the longest service record for teaching at Butler from 1957 to 2010.

  • 2023:  Benjamin Karlgaard
  • 2022: Elizabeth Angle

Given to a student who has made a significant contribution at the Holcomb Observatory and Planetarium.

  • 2023:  Maya Leonard, Amandeep Basra
  • 2022: Corinna Pena

Presented to outstanding students concentrating their studies on astronomy and astrophysics.

  • 2023:  Kira Baasch, Andrew Davis, Sarah Gardner, Wyatt Harvey, Eric Reed, Cooper Truong
  • 2022: Julia Herkert, Joshua Wanninger

Honors dedication to a professional career in physics and astronomy.

  • 2023:  Sara Moore
  • 2022: Spencer Decker

Invitations to join the physics honor society Sigma Pi Sigma are extended on the basis of character and professional or scholastic excellence in physics. Each inductee must have completed at least three physics major courses and rank in the top one-third of their class. Butler members must also have a GPA of at least 3.2 in their physics courses.

  • 2023:  Elizabeth Angle, Andrew Davis, Tucker Hurst, Sara Moore, Joshua Wanninger
  • 2022: Julia Herkert, Cooper Truong