The James Patrick Devlin Award

The James Devlin Award, created in memory of one of the Core’s first and most inspiring lecturers and classroom teachers, is given annually to students in their second semester of the first-year Humanities, who have done outstanding work in the Core and plan to continue in one or both of its second-year courses. It was always Professor Devlin’s strong belief that it is in the curriculum of the sophomore year that students experience the full benefit of the Core.

The award consists of the purchase of all books for one second-year Core class each semester, as well as a stipend of $200. Students receiving Honorable Mention will be given a set of the books for one of their fall courses.

When the application deadline is announced each year, students who wish to be considered for the award will be asked to:

  • Submit their best Core paper up to and including their final CC 102 paper.
  • Ask one of their Core seminar leaders to write a short paragraph recommending them for the award.
  • Submit their materials to the Core office with a short note indicating that they are applying for the Devlin Award. Submissions will be accepted until the close of the spring grading period.

A committee of Core professors will review the submissions and select at least two winners who will be notified in the early summer. If there are more than two outstanding applicants, additional awards may be considered. The awards will be presented at the first CC 201 lecture in the fall.

Students with questions about the award program or application process are asked to contact Professor Emeritus Brian Jorgensen at

Click here to see a list of winners of the Devlin Award

About Prof. Devlin

James DevlinDr. James Patrick Devlin (1943-2010) was a philosopher, a programmer, and a teacher through and through. It was his way to examine all of life and then to examine it more, sometimes with hilarity and always with originality, honesty and thoughtfulness.

He inspired those who came into contact with him to do the same. He pushed the pedagogical envelope, and is remembered by students and colleagues—most fondly, with deep admiration, and even awe—as an outstanding teacher and a brilliant lecturer in the Core Humanities.