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Fr. Edward F. Jenkins, O.S.A. Medallion Award

Edward F. Jenkins

The Medallion Awards are conferred each year by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to graduating seniors who have excelled in their major course of study during their undergraduate years at Villanova.  The awards are typically given to the student with the highest GPA within their major, with the requirement that the GPA be at least 3.50 at the end of the Fall term preceding graduation.  The medallion award for a major in Astronomy and Astrophysics is named after the Augustinian friar Fr. Edward Felix Jenkins, O.S.A. (1906-1991), who founded the Department of Astrophysics and Planetary Science.

Fr. Jenkins was ordained a priest of the Order of Saint Augustine in June 1931.  He became an instructor in chemistry at Villanova University in 1935, while completing his doctoral work in chemistry.  He received his doctorate in 1939.  Following a lifelong passion for astronomy, Fr. Jenkins learned the art of lens grinding and telescope construction from close friend Edwin F. Bailey of the Franklin Institute of Philadelphia.  The two constructed a telescope which was mounted in a make-shift observatory (a converted grain silo!) on top of Tolentine Hall.  Due to Fr. Jenkins’ influence, the new Mendel Science Center, completed in 1961, was equipped with both a planetarium and an observatory and the University instituted a degree program in astronomy.  Fr. Jenkins served as chairman of the Department until 1974, and continued as an active member of the Department until shortly before his death in  1991.


Recipients of the Jenkins Medallion Award:


1976          Laura F. Casswell

1977          David A. Turnshek

1978          Michael J. Acierno

1982          James Charles Lochner

1985          Donald Speranzini

1987          Kevin R. Garlow

1988          Sean M. Carroll

1991          Keith A. Scollick

1993          Brian Deeney

1996          James J. Marshall

1997          Nicholas Morgan

2002          Christopher S. Pilman

2003          Lisa M. Winter

2004          Joleen K. Miller

2006          Adric Riedel

2008          Nicholas P. Hollon

2009          Heather A. Stewart

2011          Jared W. Coughlin

2012          Janine Myzska

2013          Allyn Durbin

2014          Eduard Bachmakov

2015          Anna Marion

2016          John Ruby

2017          Marcus Katynski

2018          Liam Jones

2019          Joseph M. Michail