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
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.
Elon University senior Taylor Davis traveled to Boston in March 2015 to present her research at a national biochemistry conference. The Honors Fellow received a student travel award and was recognized in the undergraduate poster competition.
Elon Lumen Scholar Helen Meskhidze '16 and Associate Professor Anthony Crider each presented at a regional meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers at Wake Forest University from March 27-28.
Research by Elon University senior Kate Smith-Lin finds that citizens of Indonesia don’t necessarily save more money after a bank opens in rural areas, but they do change the way they save, making it easier to protect their families in times of crisis.
Elon University’s top prize for undergraduate research and creative achievement assisted senior Omolayo Ojo in her efforts to share why people from Senegal move to the United States, and what effect those moves have on families left behind.
Brianna Duff used the university's top award for undergraduate research and creative achievement to combine her love of physics and writing into a story driven by scientific principles.