The Donnelley Prize - For an essay on humankind’s relationship to the environment

Christ College is honored to announce the eleventh annual Donnelley Prize for the best Valparaiso University undergraduate essay on a subject involving humankind's relationship to the environment. 

Essays may be drawn from a wide range of disciplines, including biology, chemistry, geography, history, ethnography, environmental ethics, environmental science, theology, and ecology. The essay may be written specifically for the Donnelley Prize or it may be a version of a paper previously written for a course.

The winner will receive a cash award of $750. The winner and selected finalists will be eligible for:

  • fully paid summer internships in organizations in the greater
    Chicago region that focus on environmental issues, and
  • specially funded summer research opportunities.

How To Submit an Essay:

Essays should be  no less than 1500 words, word-processed, and double-spaced. The author’s name or other identifying information should not appear on the paper except on the cover sheet. A 125-word abstract of the essay must be included.  Previous Donnelley Prize winners are not eligible for subsequent prizes. Essays will be judged by a Valparaiso University faculty committee.

Submit essay to: Christ College Dean's Office, 1300 Chapel Drive.
Email abstract to:
Submissions due by: January 14, 2015
Winners will be notified by: February 18, 2015


Strachan Donnelley, PhD, who died in 2008, was recognized worldwide as an environmental and biomedical ethicist. He was founder and president of The Center for Humans and Nature, an independent, non-partisan, and non-profit organization with offices in New York, Chicago, and South Carolina. The Center’s work focuses on the mutual well being of human communities and the natural world. Dr. Donnelley was one of the first faculty members to teach in Christ College. It was at Valpo that he met his wife,  Vivian Hilst, who was then a VU student. Christ College is deeply grateful to Strachan and Vivian Donnelley for their generosity in establishing this initiative.

Previous Donnelley Prize winners

2014 James Repp '14

2013 Halina Hopkins '13

2012 Matthew Lewitke

2011  Emily Von Qualen ‘11

2010  John Linstrom ‘10

2009  John Linstrom ‘10

2008  Hannah Cartwright ‘08

2007  Erin Maloney ‘07

2006  Nicholas Proksch ‘06

2005  Benjamin Mueller ‘05

2004  Jennifer Fick ‘04

2003  Peter Hinck ’04

2002  Benjamin Leese ’03

2001  Gretchen Eelkema ‘02