Karl Taylor Compton Prize

Karl Taylor Compton Prize

The Karl Taylor Compton Prizes are the highest awards presented by the Institute to students and student organizations in recognition of excellent achievements in citizenship and devotion to the welfare of MIT.

If you have any questions about the Compton Prizes please contact us via email.

Karl Taylor Compton
Dr. Karl Taylor Compton was president of MIT from 1930-1948 and chairman of the MIT Corporation from 1948 until his death in 1954. Born in Ohio in 1887, President Compton attended the College of Wooster, earning a B.S. (1908) and an M.S. (1909) in physics, and was awarded a Ph.D. in physics in 1912 from Princeton University. Compton was head of President Roosevelt’s Office of Scientific Research and Development during World War II, overseeing the development of radar in MIT’s Radiation Lab. He received the highest civilian honor of the U.S. Army, the Medal for Merit, for helping to shorten the war. Noted throughout his life for his uncompromising integrity and his generous public spirit, Compton’s strong leadership transformed the Institute into one of the world’s leading research universities.

Past Award Recipients


  • CJ Quines G


  • Madeleine Sutherland G


  • Billy Moses G


  • Bianca Lepe G
  • Charlotte Minsky G
  • Jessica Quaye '20


  • Orpheus Chatzivasileiou G
  • Neil Gaikwad G
  • René García Franceschini '19


  • Miranda McClellan '18
  • Officers of the Graduate Student Council
  • Interfraternity Council Sexual Misconduct Committee


  • Michael McCellan G


  • Matthew Davis '16
  • Sebastian Schmidt G


  • Jane He
  • Mitali Thakor


  • Anna Ho ‘14
  • Leonid Grinberg ‘14
  • Patrick Hulin ‘14


  • Amanda David '13
  • Ellan Spero G
  • Graduate Student Council


  • Patrick Barragan '08
  • Paul Kominers '12
  • Gordon Wintrob '12