Each year, one (or, in rare cases, two) graduating senior majors from each discipline are singled out for their exemplary work in Anthropology and Sociology. These prizes come with small cash awards.
The Friedrichs Award in Sociology was endowed by the grateful parents of a Williams alumnus who greatly appreciated the teaching of Professor Robert Friedrichs (b. 1923-d. 2012), founder of the Williams Sociology program. Bob Friedrichs was a graduate of Oberlin College and received his doctorate in sociology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. After teaching at Drew University for 12 years, he joined the faculty at Williams as the first sociologist ever hired by the college. He chaired Anthropology and Sociology for many years and retired in 1993. Friedrichs was best known for his book A Sociology of Sociology (New York: The Free Press, 1970), which earned him the American Sociological Association’s Sorokin Award in 1971.
The Orton Prize in Anthropology honors the work of James H. Orton (b. 1830-d.1877) , Williams Class of 1855. Orton was a minister, professor of natural history at Vassar College, and a renowned explorer of western South America. His travels resulted in a best-seller, The Andes and the Amazon, or Across the Continent of South America (1870). Orton traveled to South America again in 1877, where he died while crossing Lake Titicaca on route to the city of Puno.
You can learn about the 2020 winners of the Departmental awards here.
Archive of winner announcements: