During his opening day address to the University on August 20, 2007, President Leo Lambert announced his vision for the creation of a new and significant undergraduate prize.
"Many of us believe Elon should do more to recognize the truly exceptional scholarly achievement of upperclassmen and women. I plan to bring to the Board of Trustees this fall a proposal to create the Lumen Prize to assist Elon University juniors and seniors in the attainment of ambitious and serious intellectual goals. I am suggesting a prize with a value of $15,000, which could be used for scholarship assistance for the final two years of study on top of existing financial awards and support for research, international study, equipment and supplies, a summer stipend, and other approved expenses. My hope is that winners of the Lumen Prize will receive special mentoring and support in pursuit of graduate fellowships and international awards such as the Rhodes, Truman, Goldwater, and Rotary scholarships. This is a wonderful opportunity for Elon to recognize and celebrate the very best achievements of Elon University undergraduate scholars."
The Elon Board of Trustees gave its strong support to the proposal and the Lumen Prize program was initiated in the 2007-2008 academic year. The name for the Lumen Prize comes from Elon's historic motto, "Numen Lumen," which are Latin words meaning "spiritual light" and "intellectual light." The words, which are found on the Elon University seal, signify the highest purposes of an Elon education.
Rising juniors submit their applications for this highly competitive award during the Spring term. Lumen applicants map out their vision for their junior and senior years, developing a plan for coursework, research, creative productions or performances, service projects, travel, summer workshops or institutes, and international study or internships. A committee of faculty from across the institution determines its selections based on the intellectual/creative merit, distinction, and coherence of the proposal, as well as those qualities of intellectual passion, commitment, and experience of the applicant. Members of the Committee for 2014-15 include:
Wally Bixby, Exercise Science
Aunchalee Palmquist, Sociology and Anthropology
Ben Evans, Physics
Victoria Fischer-Faw, Music
Andrew Greenland, Economics
Yuko Miyamoto, Biology
Lucinda Austin, Communications
Scott Morrison, Education
Janet Myers, English & Director of National Fellowships
For more information or to apply for the Lumen Prize, visit the links on the left.
Dr. Ann J. Cahill
Professor of Philosophy
Spence Pavilion 111
2340 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244
Phone: (336) 278-5703
Elon University senior Rachel Mehaffey used the university's top prize for undergraduate research and creative achievements to study the way dancers interpret what they are asked to perform on stage and in the classroom.
The university's top award comes with $15,000 to support and celebrate academic and creative achievements.
Elon senior Nicole Payne Mota, whose Cuban and Puerto Rican heritage are reflected in her musical passion and scholarly work, led a Yeager Recital Hall concert on April 24 supported by the university's top prize for undergraduate research and creative achievement.
Omolayo Ojo, an international studies major and Honors Fellow from Maryland, will spend a year in Europe before pursuing graduate studies in immigration law, migration and development.
Elon University junior Helen Meskhidze received a scholarship through the national Society of Physics Students.
Mary Rouse, a political science major from Charlotte, North Carolina, will study strategic narratives next year at Royal Holloway, University of London, as she works toward a graduate degree in media, power and public affairs.