Overview of Awards
Student achievements are acknowledged by the awarding of an Honour tie which may be worn instead of the general school tie. These
are awarded by the Headmaster at school assemblies throughout the year.
The following Honour ties are awarded:
An International tie is awarded to a student who is selected to represent his country. The tie is the reverse of the original Gonzaga tie which became the Prep School tie and ultimately, with the closure of the Prep School, the Prefect tie.
A Sporting tie is awarded to a student who distinguishes himself in the sporting area either nationally or provincially.
An Academic tie is awarded to a student who distinguishes himself in the non-sporting area either internationally, nationally, or provincially.
A Senior Rugby tie is awarded to a student who is selected for the 23-man match day squad for a Leinster Schools’ Senior Cup fixture.
A Senior Cricket tie is awarded to a student who represents the College in a Leinster Schools’ Senior 1st XI competitive fixture.
A Senior Tennis tie is awarded to a student who represents the College in a Leinster Schools’ Senior 1st team competitive fixture.
The Graduation Awards reflect and promote the values embodied in the mission statement and the Characteristics of Jesuit Education. These awards are presented by the Headmaster at the 6th Year Assembly which is held on the last Tuesday before the 6th Years depart. The Vice-Captain of the school delivers a speech at this Assembly.
The Danny McNelis Cup
The Vice-Captain’s Cup or 6th Year Trophy has been presented annually since 1990 to a person who in the eyes of the Vice-Captain and Captain (after consultation with the Headmaster) most represents the ideal of a Gonzaga graduate. The Sixth Year class of 2016 requested that the name of this Cup be changed in memory of Mr Danny McNelis RIP. This change was approved by the Board of Management.
The Davy Medal
The Davy Medal is awarded annually to a graduating student who during his time at Gonzaga has tried to live the ideal emphasised in the Mission Statement of commitment to the service of others. The medal was first awarded in 1999 in memory of Eugene Davy who was instrumental in the establishment of this College and whose three sons and nine grandsons attended the College. Over the years the award has acknowledged contributions of Gonzaga boys to the welfare of others in many different ways.
The Founder’s Cup
When the O’Conor Don SJ came to Gonzaga in 1950 as founding Superior and later first Rector he brought with him a trophy which had been associated with his family for many years. It was the Lough Allen Challenge Cup. This Cup sat in a cupboard in the Jesuit residence for almost 50 Years. It is now awarded as the Founder’s Cup to acknowledge the achievement of personal excellence in some area of life which would not normally be recognised by the College. While it is intended that the Cup may be presented every year this may not necessarily be the case.
Brian Ensor Trophy
The Brian Ensor trophy was presented to the College by the Ensor family in memory of their father Brian. It is awarded each year to the most improved senior rugby player.
The Captain’s Cup
The Captain’s Cup is the oldest trophy presented by the College. It acknowledges, each year, an outstanding contribution to sport by one of the graduating students.
The Forum ’98 Medal
The Forum ’98 Medal is awarded annually in recognition of the artistic achievements of a graduating Gonzaga boy. Over the past six years it has been awarded to students whose work has been in the plastic arts, in drama and in music. In 2010 it was decided to separate these disciplines. The Forum ’98 Medal is now to be awarded for the artistic achievements of a graduating boy in drama.
The McCarron Trophy
The McCarron Trophy was presented to the College by the McCarron family to mark a fifty year association with the College. The Trophy is to be awarded annually to a graduating student who during his time at Gonzaga achieves the highest academic average over his six years as a student in the College. This award recognizes his intellectual ability as well as his diligence and commitment to academic excellence.
The Castiglione Medal for Art
The Castiglione Medal for Art, presented for the first time in 2010 is specifically for the plastic arts. The medal was named after Giuseppe Castiglione, S.J.(July 19, 1688 – July 17, 1766) who was an Italian Jesuit Brother, missionary in China, painter at the court of the Emperor. His style was a unique blend of European painting with Chinese subjects and themes. This Medal is awarded annually to a graduating student who during his time at Gonzaga has nurtured and developed his talent in the plastic arts. Again one of the criterions for selection for this award is that the student on occasion uses his talent for the benefit of the community.
The Zipoli Medal
The Zipoli medal, presented for the first time in 2010, is awarded for Music and named after one of the biggest Jesuit names in classical composition. Domenico Zipoli was born in Italy in 1688 and entered the Jesuit order in Spain in 1716. He ministered on the South American missions while much of his music is preserved in archives in Bolivia. This medal is awarded annually to a graduating student who during his time at Gonzaga contributes to the musical life of the College, whether in choral or orchestral music, traditional sessions or more contemporary styles. Particular emphasis is placed when awarding the Medal on the contribution made by senior students to the development of musical talent among the younger members of the College community.
The Andrew Bacon Cup
The Andrew Bacon Cup was presented to the College in 2022 by Andrew’s partner Lindsay Cooke in memory of Andrew (Class 2014) who passed away after a long battle with illness. Andrew was a medical student who was passionate about science and maths during his time in Gonzaga College. The Trophy is to be awarded annually to a graduating student who during 5th and 6th Year at Gonzaga achieves the highest academic average in maths and science subjects. This award recognises intellectual ability as well as diligence and commitment to academic excellence.
The 'Men Speechless' Trophy
This award was donated by the McDonagh family in 2022 in appreciation of Rev. Joe Veale SJ, who taught English and Religious Knowledge in Gonzaga College between 1954 and 1972. The award recognises strength in Rhetoric, both in oratory and writing. This perpetual trophy is to be awarded by the Headmaster each year to a student in Sixth Year who has reflected, whether in Irish or in English, in written work or in debate, the virtues associated with Joe’s ideal of the vir bonus dicendi peritus, ‘the good man, skilled at speaking’, as Cato the Elder put it.
Graduation Achievement Medals
Graduation Medals are awarded to those boys who, while pupils at Gonzaga, represent their province or country.