Prizes and Awards

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Undergraduates in the Department of Classics are eligible for a wide range of competitive prizes, awards, and fellowships, sponsored by the Department, other units within the University, and regional or national associations.  These include cash prizes and awards as well as funding for travel, research projects, and participation in educational programs.

Departmental Prizes and Awards

Prize Competitions in Latin and Greek

The Herington Prize in Greek & Latin

The Herington Greek and Latin Poetry Prizes, established in 1999 by Maynard and Florence Mack in memory of John Herington, are awarded for the best oral performance of assigned passages of Greek and Latin poetry.  There are two prizes of $250 each, one in Greek and one in Latin.  The competition, open to all undergraduates taking Greek or Latin at UNC, takes place every year in the fall.  Participants are advised not to attempt reciting the passage from memory, but those who choose to do so should have a copy of the text to consult during the performance.  Previous winners are ineligible to compete but are encouraged to attend and take part in the general poetry reading that follows the competition.  Students who wish to compete should sign up in advance with the Student Services Manager and obtain the passages of Greek and/or Latin.

The B.L. Ullman Prize in Latin

The Ullman Prize is funded by an endowment established by B. L. Ullman, Professor of Latin from 1944 to 1959 and department chair, for the purpose of encouraging students in their study of Latin.  The prize is awarded to a student enrolled in fourth semester Latin (LATN 204 or 205) who shows the best ability to translate at sight selected passages of Latin in a competitive written examination.  It brings an award of $500.  The exam will be held in February, date TBA.  Students intending to take this exam should sign up in advance with the Student Services Manager and bring blue books and pens or pencils to the exam.

The Albert Suskin Prize in Latin

The Suskin Prize is in memory of Albert I. Suskin, first a student in the Department and then, starting in 1936, a faculty member, and lastly Chair from 1960 until his death in 1965.  The prize, established in 1966 by his friends and colleagues, is offered to the undergraduate student who shows the best ability to understand Latin poetry and to translate selected passages at sight.  It brings an award of $1,000, presented at the Chancellor’s Award Ceremony in April.  Students compete for the prize by taking an exam, normally administered in February, consisting of translations and a short essay.  Students intending to take the exam should sign up in advance with the Student Services Manager and bring blue books and pens or pencils to the exam itself.  See here for a list of previous winners.

The Eben Alexander Prize in Greek

This award was established in 1887 by the family of Dr. Eben Alexander, Professor of Greek in the Department from 1886 to 1909.  A prize of $500 is presented annually to the undergraduate student who, in the opinion of the faculty of the Department of Classics, presents the best rendering into English of selected passages of Greek not previously read.  The award is presented at the Chancellor’s Award Ceremony in April.  The prize exam is normally administered in February.  Students intending to take the exam should sign up in advance with the Student Services Manager and bring blue books and pens or pencils to the exam itself.  See here for a list of previous winners.

Travel and Research Awards

The Nims Scholarship

The Department of Classics nominates candidates for this need-based scholarship to the Student Aid Office. Established in 1979 by F. Boyden Nims in honor of his parents, Eunice and Luther Nims, the amount of this substantial award varies, but may pay tuition, room, board, and fees, and may be used by undergraduate students in the Department of Classics (majors and minors), with preference given to juniors and seniors for either in-residence study or study abroad.  The amounts of the awards vary according to need; however, due to limited resources, they are normally capped at $4,000 for summer programs and at $6,000 for programs that run during the academic year.  Exceptions may be made, resources permitting, in cases of unusual need.  Priority is given to those students who have not previously received a Nims Scholarship.

The Snow Award for Student Travel and Research

Awards from the James M. and Virginia Kay G. Snow Endowment Fund are awarded competitively to undergraduate students of the Department of Classics (majors and minors) to support travel for the purpose of presenting a paper at a conference or professional meeting and to help subsidize the expense of research projects.  Three awards of up to $500 each are available each year.

The Stacia Byers Wells Fund for Student Travel and Research

Grants from the Stacia Byers Wells Fund are awarded competitively to undergraduate students of the Department of Classics (majors and minors) to support travel and research in the following areas: travel to participate in excavations or archaeological field projects, travel to professional meetings in the U.S.A. or abroad, and faculty-student collaborative research, including work as research assistants.  The amount of the award varies, depending on the availability of the funds.

Application Procedures

Since the application for all three awards is the same, students may submit a single application for more than one award, indicating the awards for which they wish to be considered.  They are urged to supplement these awards by applying for funding elsewhere; see further the following sections on University and regional/national awards.  Application letters for these departmental awards should include the student’s 1) full name, 2) PID number, 3) major/minor with area, 4) year/rank, and 5) any previous departmental awards they have received (Nims, Herington, etc.), along with the year received.  It should also include a statement of their past experience and education; a description of the program, conference, or meeting they wish to attend or, as applicable, an overview of their research project; a brief statement of how the project relates to their educational or academic goals; a statement of financial need and a list of other funding sources to which they’re applying; and a detailed budget (list of estimated expenses).  Applications should be sent by email, either in the body of the message or as attached Word or PDF file, to the Director of Undergraduate Studies.  In addition, applicants should arrange to have three letters of recommendation (at least two from professors within the Department of Classics) sent by email directly to the DUS. The application deadline is February 1.  In usual circumstances, it is also possible for awards to be made at other times on an ad-hoc basis; please consult the DUS.  Please note that proof of acceptance to a program or dig is not required when applying for the awards, but is required before receiving any awarded funds.

Scholarships in Greek

The Herington Scholarship

The Herington scholarship was established in 1999 by Maynard and Florence Mack in memory of John Herington and is awarded annually to the best student of Greek.  The Herington Scholarship currently carries an award of $750.  The purpose of the Herington Scholarship is to recognize achievement and to encourage undergraduates to continue their study of classics at UNC or abroad in the following year.  Students do not apply, but are nominated by faculty members and selected in the spring semester by a departmental faculty committee.  All freshmen, sophomore, and junior UNC Classics majors and minors are eligible.

The Epps Prize in Greek Studies

This award was established by Preston H. Epps, a faculty member in the Department starting in 1915 and Professor of Greek from 1943 until his retirement in 1961.  Two Epps prizes are awarded annually, one to a graduate student and one to an undergraduate, to those students whom, as the late Professor Epps stipulated in his will, the faculty of the Department of Classics judge to show “the greatest interest and promise in coming to understand the Greek language, literature, history, and outlook.”  The graduate prize carries an award of $3,500, the undergraduate prize an award of $2,500.  Students do not apply, but are nominated by faculty members and selected in the spring semester by a departmental faculty committee.  All junior and senior Classics majors and minors and graduate students of Greek at UNC are eligible.

university awards and fellowships

Burch Honors Fellowships

Burch Fellowships provide funding for students to pursue an intense interest beyond the scope of an academic course or a summer internship.  The parameters are very broad; the main stipulations are that the project must be an academic endeavor that falls within the University’s mission and that it must be completed within a calendar year from the time undergraduate students at UNC who have completed at least one full semester but not more than six; they do not need to be members of Honors Carolina to apply.  For further information, see the Honors Carolina website here.

Robinson Honors Fellowships

The Robinson Honors Fellowship provides up to $6,000 to support domestic or international learning experiences for students who propose a program of study wholly focused on some aspect of the history and culture of the West, including Europe and the Mediterranean region, from the 5th century BCE to 1920.  The fellowship is open to all Carolina students who meet the eligibility criteria.  To be chosen as a Robinson Honors Fellow, an applicant must give convincing evidence of exceptional ability and promise through the application, recommendations, and personal interview.  The proposed fellowship experience should be one that will allow the recipients to study the humanities and the ideas that have molded Western society and form the foundation of Western culture.  For further information, see the Honors Carolina website here.

Francis L. Phillips Travel Scholarship

This award, administered jointly by the Division of Student Affairs and the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid, provides funding for juniors and seniors with a major in the College of Arts and Sciences to engage in individual self-designed and directed international travel experiences for periods ranging from two months to six months.  Applicants must be US citizens and have attended a North Carolina high school.  Approximately twenty Phillips Scholarships for up to $9,000 each are awarded every year on the basis of a competitive written application and committee interview.  For further information, see the Student Affairs website here.

Gerald Unks Undergraduate Travel Fellowship

The fellowship, administered by the Division of Student Affairs, is intended to provide an opportunity for the financial support of a student’s personal enrichment and growth through travel.  It is not intended to support the expenses of participating in the University’s formal study abroad program, although it may be used to ‘extend’ a student’s participation in that program.  The awards are for support of an individual student, traveling either independently or as part of a group, and are intended to support travel for no less than two months and no more than six months.  The proposed itinerary can involve anything from independent study for college credit (e.g. European cathedral architecture) to experimental activities (e.g. a bicycle tour of England, Scotland and Wales), but must include a stay of at least four days in London, England.  Applicants must be upper-class undergraduates at UNC; a strong preference will be shown to students for whom this will be the initial international multicultural experience.  Eight recipients will be selected for awards of up to $2,500.  For further information, see the Student Affairs website here.

Class of 1938 Fellowship Program

This program, administered by International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS), provides awards of $5,000 for summer study abroad projects.  Applicants must be US citizens, and sophomores or juniors at UNC-Chapel Hill.  The best candidates are those who indicate their interest in an independent study project that is tied to their personal and/or career aspirations and have financial need of scholarship funding to pursue this project.  Strong consideration will be given to candidates whose university records demonstrate their seriousness of academic purpose and to students who lack the sufficient funds to pursue the project.  For further information, see the ISSS website here.

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)

Every year the Office of Undergraduate Research makes at least 60 SURF awards of $3,000 each.  Applicants must be full-time undergraduates at UNC in good standing who will be enrolled in both the spring semester prior to and the fall semester after the proposed project; students who have received a SURF award in prvious years are not eligible to apply.  Applications are encouraged from all disciplines.  SURF recipients are expected to engage in undergraduate research, scholarship, or performance for at least 9 weeks, with a minimum of 20 hours/week during the summer (May-August).  SURF projects must be carried out under the supervision of a UNC-Chapel Hill faculty research advisor, and additional collaboration with a postdoctoral fellow or graduate student mentor is encouraged.  For further information, see the OUR website here.

Taylor and Gold Summer Research Fellowships

The Taylor and Gold Fellowships are part of the SURF program, and all Honors Carolina students who receive a SURF fellowship will be considered. Recipients receive $4,000 grants to work on a faculty-mentored research project during the summer.  The fellowships provide opportunities for students to continue work they may already have begun with a faculty mentor, to get a head start on a Senior Honors Thesis, or to travel to distant libraries, labs, or archives that might otherwise be beyond reach.  For further information, see the Honors Carolina website here.

Office of Undergraduate Research Travel Awards

These awards, of up to $500, provide funding for undergraduate students to present results of their research or creative performance at a professional conference in their field.  Applicants must be in good academic standing and have completed their research under the mentorship of a UNC faculty member.  For further information, see the OUR website here.

The Jon Curtis Student Enrichment Fund

The Student Enrichment Fund (SEF) is a student-led initiative of Student Government and the Carolina Union that provides monthly $200-$600 grants to pursue personal, professional, and academic interests away from Carolina.  Grants are awarded without restrictions based on major, course of study, or academic department.  The hallmark of the SEF is the Bring it Back program.  Grants are an investment made with the expectation that, through their experiences, recipients will expand their knowledge, get inspired, and then share that knowledge and inspiration with their peers.  For further information, see here.

Regional and National awards

Minority Scholarship in Classics and Classical Archaeology

The Society for Classical Studies provides awards of up to $4,500 to minority undergraduates in order to further their preparation in classics or classical archaeology with opportunities not available during the school year.  Eligible proposals include (but are not limited to) participation in classical summer programs or field schools in Italy, Greece, Egypt, etc., or language training at institutions in the U.S., Canada, or Europe.  For further information, see the SCS website here.

The Lionel Pearson Fellowship

This fellowship, with an award of up to $24,400, is given by the Society for Classical Studies to a senior Classics major in order to support advanced study at an English or Scottish university.  Nominations, which are due in early October, must come from a faculty member, who should consult with the Chair well in advance.  For further information, see the SCS website here.

The Manson A. Stewart Undergraduate Award

This scholarship, in the amount of $1,000, is awarded by The Classical Association of the Middle West and South (CAMWS) to students majoring in Classics at the sophomore or junior level; nominees are expected to take a minimum of two courses in Latin or Greek during the year in which the scholarship is held.  The Classics Department may nominate up to two students a year for this scholarship; nominees must fill out an application form, write a brief essay, and submit a transcript and two letters of recommendation.  For further information, please see the CAMWS website here.

CAMWS Excavation/Field School Award

The Classical Association of the Middle West and South annually awards three $2,000 scholarships for participation in summer excavation or field school at an archaeological site in the Graeco-Roman world.  Generally, one award will be made to a graduate student and another to an undergraduate, but teachers are also eligible for this award.  Applicants must be current members of CAMWS who are enrolled as an undergraduate or graduate student in a degree-granting Classics program within CAMWS territory.  For further information, see the CAMWS website here.

CAMWS Faculty-Undergraduate Collaborative Research Projects

CAMWS awards two research grants of up to $1,000 each to teachers in undergraduate programs to support collaborative research projects with undergraduates.  For further information see the CAMWS website here.

CAMWS Latin Translation Contest

CAMWS offers $250 cash prizes, book awards, and awards of commendation to qualifying winners in its annual School Awards Latin Translation Contest.  The exams are administered in early December by a school official other than the Latin teacher; the application deadline is in mid-November.  For further information see the CAMWS website here.