The Devlin Award


Every year, the Core Curriculum awards two students with the James Patrick Devlin Memorial Award, in memory of one of the founding members of the Core who inspired students and colleagues alike. It is presented on the basis of the excellence of a first-year Core essay, as recommended to a committee of Core professors by other Core professors.

The James Patrick Devlin Award means a lot to the Core community, and each year some of our professors and founders talks briefly about why it is important to them. Below are comments that Professors Nelson and Jorgensen made about the award and its namesake, during the Spring 2017 Core Banquet:

The arete, or excellence, of a Core student is to think well — to think deeply, originally, and clearly, and then to express their thoughts clearly, persuasively, and even elegantly. We have students who achieve this, and they are who the Devlin Award is for: for first year students who wrote outstanding essays. – Professor Stephanie Nelson

The award is based on your best paper from first year and on recommendations from professors. James Devlin was a great teacher, a great lecturer, one of the founders of Core, and an inspiration to everyone who was there to start. – Professor Brian Jorgensen

Devlin Award winners receive a prize of course books, and a cash stipend. These prizes are actually funded by donations from the Core community, especially alumni, as gifts made during BU’s annual Giving Day. Current first-year students will be invited to submit applications for consideration, upon their return to campus after Spring Break. To see a list of past winners, visit the Core website.

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