Student Wins $60,027 Writing Prize
For college graduates facing the prospect of repaying enormous student loans, a prize of $60,027 is hardly chump change. Just ask Liam Daley, a 22-year-old 2007 graduate of Washington College in Chestertown, MD.
At his graduation ceremony in May 2007, the English and drama major from Drexel Hill, Penn. received the Sophie Kerr Prize the largest undergraduate literary award in the country for his critical thesis on medieval English literature, along with his portfolio of plays and short prose pieces.
The competition is held annually to honor the college’s graduating senior who demonstrates the greatest “ability and promise for future fulfillment in the field of literary endeavor.” Washington College has awarded more than one million dollars in prize money since the prize was first given in 1968, most often to writers of poetry and fiction.
Daley’s work, chosen over that of 39 other entrants, was praised by his thesis adviser and English Professor Richard Gillin, who presided over the Sophie Kerr committee’s deliberations.
“With regard to Liam’s plays, the rhythms of the dialogue paralleled the emotional turmoil of the characters, and the structuring of the plays’ elements and the repartee among the characters are particular strengths,” said Gillin.