College instates Student Life prizes

The Office of Fellowships announced Monday that it will begin to award three or four Dunbar Student Life Prizes annually for the best written work on an any aspect of student life. Each prize is worth between $3000 and $5000.

The official description of the award states, “The award aims to recognize students who are active in campus life in its social, political, educational and/or religious aspects, and who have produced significant written work on any aspect of student life. The work may be published or unpublished, and can focus on any local, national or global issues affecting college or university students.”

Winners of the prize may use the money to fund summer endeavors, educational expenses or for any other purpose, according to the award description.

According to Katya King, director of fellowships, all students currently enrolled at the College can apply for the award. Candidates for the prize may nominate themselves or may be nominated by another member of the College community.

“The criteria are simple,” King said. Students apply with one or more published or unpublished pieces of written work on the topic of student life. “Student life is defined broadly and can include anything from campus concerns, to political issues affecting students in Syria, to U.S. student loan policies, to the job market for recent graduates,” King said.

An optional personal statement or nomination rationale may also be included to supplement the application. No transcripts or letters of recommendation are required.

“We are thrilled about this award, because we think it will reward those students who lead by the written word, and because it will encourage more students to write about the key issues of the day,” King said.

The deadline for the application is March 1, 2012. A selection committee will then convene. The first member on the committee will be a student appointed by College Council. The second may be any student, alum, staff or faculty member who is appointed by the president and the chair of the Board of Trustees. These two appointees will choose a third commitee member. The announcement of the winners will be made approximately two weeks after the application deadline.

The award was first endowed in 1927 by Philip R. Dunbar, Class of 1900, in memory of James R. Dunbar, Class of 1871. The prize was put on hold at the onset of the Great Depression and reinstated decades later by the Dunbars. The prize is new in its current form, but King said the Fellowships Office has “worked hard to adhere to the intent of Mr. Dunbar’s original bequest.”

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