Project Pericles


Periclean of the Year Award

What is the history behind this award?

In the fall of 2006 Director Tom Arcaro was selected as the North Carolina Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. In honor of this accolade philanthropist Eugene Lang, founder of the national Project Pericles, provided an endowment gift of $10,000 to the Periclean Scholars program. Mr. Lang’s wishes for the gift is that it would provide a modest scholarship for a rising senior Periclean Scholar deemed by her peers as an exemplary Periclean Scholar.

When did this award originate?

The award was first officially put in place in the spring of 2009.

So there is money attached to this Award?

Yes. The endowment generates $500 per year, and that amount is intended to go to the rising junior identified as the Periclean of the Year.

Who are the past recipients of this Award?

Kristen Schulz, Class of 2010
Katie Dirks, Class of 2011
Annie Huth, Class of 2012
Thomas Price, Class of 2013
These names are updated every year and are to be displayed on a plaque in a public area.

How is the recipient selected?

It is the responsibility of the junior Pericleans to agree on a mechanism by which the honoree from their Class is selected. Though the decision process has varied from year to year, the most common (and perhaps preferred) method is for Pericleans to email written nominations (including self nominations) to the Director and then the Director organizes a selection committee from the senior Pericleans. This committee is charged by the Director to read and discuss the nominations and then have a secret ballot vote that is then tabulated by the Director.

When should names and letters of nomination be forwarded to the Director?

The Director will need to call together a small section committee made up of senior Pericleans and also will need time to organize any material representation of the award (e.g., plaque). The timing demands that the junior Pericleans get names and letters of nomination to the Director two weeks before the date of the Induction. 

Isn’t singling out a Periclean of the Year contrary to the ethos of the program?

Virtually all Pericleans past and present have asked this question either individually or as a Class, and it is a point well taken. Out of deep respect for the donor’s wishes that make this award possible we are bound to continue this tradition.

When is the Periclean of the Year announced?

The tradition is that the award recipient is announced as part of the program during the annual spring Induction ceremony. The Periclean of the Year from the previous year is asked to make the announcement and typically reads from some of the letters of nomination to describe the contributions of the honoree.

Are there any interesting stories about this award?

The recipient for the Class of 2012, Annie Huth, was out of the country in the spring semester on a study abroad experience in Ecuador. Dr. Arcaro told her that he needed to Skype with her and she was surprised by being virtually present at Induction and was totally blindsided by the award.