Enter the 2020 Kenan Institute for Ethics Essay Competition for the Moral Purpose Award

Kenan Moral Purpose Award.

Deadline: April 26, 2020

The Kenan Moral Purpose Award is given annually for the best student essays 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.

New for 2020: There will be a separate prize awarded for the best graduate student essay.

2020 Entry Guidelines

This contest is open to currently enrolled full-time undergraduate and graduate students at Duke University (short-term or exchange students are not eligible).

For Undergraduate Students

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?
For Graduate Students

Essays of between 500-800 words should address either or both of the following questions:

  • How has your research informed, tested, transformed, or confirmed your moral commitments?
  • How does your research defend or challenge prevailing ideas, social norms, or institutions, and what lessons have you learned in the process?

Essays should be submitted by email as a Word or PDF attachment to Amber Díaz Pearson (amber.diaz@duke.edu) by 11:59 p.m. (EDT), Sunday, April 26.

Learn more and read about the 2019 winners.