The Kenan Moral Purpose Award is given for the best undergraduate student essay on the role a liberal arts education plays in students’ exploration of the personal and social purposes by which to orient their future and the intellectual, emotional, and moral commitments that make for a full life.
Established in honor of the Institute’s 15th anniversary at Duke and subsequently expanded, the award represents a partnership with the Parr Center for Ethics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. One winner from each school receives $1,000. This contest is open to all currently enrolled undergraduate students at both Duke and UNC.
Essays of between 500-800 words should address either or both of the following questions:
- In what ways have your core beliefs and larger aims been tested, transformed, or confirmed during your time in college?
- How have you had to defend or challenge prevailing ideas, social norms or institutions and what lessons have you learned from doing so?
Note: the new 2015 deadline extension for Duke students is Sunday, November 15. To submit an essay or ask for further information, contact Cece Mercer <email@example.com>.
The 2014 winners were Lauren Carroll (Trinity ’14) and Daniel Pigeon (UNC-CH ’15), with their winning essays, “Split Loyalties” and “Mandatory Modesty.”
Rae Dong’s (T’11) “Purpose, Not Perfection” and Bethany Horstmann’s (T’13) “When Service Isn’t Enough, Building a New Understanding of Morality” were the 2011 winners.