M. Gweneth Humphreys (1911-2006) graduated with honors in mathematics from the University of British Columbia in 1932, earning the prestigious Governor General’s Gold Medal at graduation. After receiving her master’s degree from Smith College in 1933, Humphreys earned her Ph.D. at age 23 from the University of Chicago in 1935. She taught mathematics to women for her entire career, first at Mount St. Scholastica College, then for several years at Sophie Newcomb College, and finally for over thirty years at Randolph Macon Woman’s College, now Randolph College.
Carol Wood initiated creation of the award, with contributions from other Randolph-Macon Woman’s College alumnae and faculty. Gwen’s impact went well beyond academia. She believed in her students, and encouraged her majors toward successful careers involving mathematics. These students have made lasting contributions in a wide range of areas, including K-12 education, publishing, software and the legal profession.
The Association for Women in Mathematics established this award in memory of M. Gweneth Humphreys to recognize outstanding mentorship activities. This award, funded by contributions from her former students and colleagues at Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, recognizes Humphreys’ commitment to and profound influence on undergraduate students of mathematics.