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 2016-17 include:
Wally Bixby, Exercise Science
Aunchalee Palmquist, Sociology and Anthropology
Christopher Richardson, Physics
Lauren Kearns, Dance
Andrew Greenland, Economics
Yuko Miyamoto, Biology
Barbara Miller, Communications
Scott Morrison, Education
Lynn Huber, Religious Studies
Ann J. Cahill, Philosophy (director)
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
The university’s top award for undergraduate scholars comes with $15,000 to support and celebrate academic and creative achievements.
Elon senior Claire Lockard used the Lumen Prize, the university’s top award for undergraduate research and creative achievement, to reconceptualize what is meant by "identity" and reimagine the possibilities for diversity on college campuses.
Elon University Lumen Scholar Michelle Alfini visited Rio de Janeiro to analyze the media’s lacking coverage of human rights violations prior to this year’s Olympic Games and fill the void in coverage through her website, RightingRio.com.
Peter Jakes '17, Michael Keenan '16, Sara Rodgers '16, Jesi Weed '16, Professor Jeff Clark, Professor Crista Arangala, and A.L. Hook Assistant Professor Chad Awtrey presented at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Seattle from Jan. 6-9, 2016.
Elon senior Helen Meskhidze, a recent finalist for the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship, is using the university’s top prize for undergraduate research and creative achievement to help astrophysicists study galaxies that create stars at rates far greater than average.
Elon University senior Christian Seitz received a 2015 Amgen Scholarship to research the 3D structure of molecular bases within the human nose that allows humans to detect scent.