The Judith Lee Stronach Baccalaureate Prize supports intellectual and creative pursuits that heighten awareness of issues of social consciousness and the public good. The award gives bright, ambitious students the opportunity to extend and reflect upon their undergraduate work at Berkeley by undertaking a special project after their graduation. Winning projects are creative in the broadest sense, explore themes of significant interest to holders of the Prize, and strive to further understanding of what constitutes humane and effective participation in our worldwide community.
The Prize celebrates the life achievements of Judith Lee Stronach (1943-2002), who as a patron of the arts and education devoted enormous time and energy to numerous charitable organizations. Judith Lee Stronach brought her academic training in art history to her work as a journalist for Amnesty International and her experience as a teacher of poetry to her work at several East Bay schools and centers. She worked tirelessly for human rights both internationally on behalf of Guatemalans and Bosnian children, and locally on behalf of women, girls and the homeless. As a board member of Berkeley’s River of Words project, she helped children throughout the United States learn about watershed stewardship and self-expression through poetry and art. Robert Hass, former U.S. Poet Laureate, UC Berkeley professor of English, and her friend and teacher, has recognized her “passionate love of poetry” and “missionary zeal to bring it into the lives of others.” The Prize commemorates Ms. Stronach’s lifelong commitment to intellectual and creative growth, and her mission to effect social change through the arts.
The Prize is open to Berkeley graduates in any area of study who are awarded an undergraduate degree in the Fall of the year before or the Spring or Summer of the year in which the Prize is awarded. Proposals for humanistic research or public service projects involving the arts, humanities and social or natural sciences are welcome. The Prize cannot be used to support graduate study or any credit-granting courses.
Applications are assessed on the basis of the applicant’s academic performance and extracurricular activities, especially as they are relevant to the project proposal, the project’s creativity and significance, and the appropriateness of the budget. Prize winners are selected by a committee of distinguished faculty members and other prominent researchers or artists.
Prize recipients may be awarded as much as $25,000. The Prize is intended to cover project costs, materials, and living expenses for a period of up to one year.
To apply for the Stronach Baccalaureate Prize you will need to submit a proposal, budget, transcripts, and sample of your work. A complete application file must also include two or more letters of recommendation, including a recommendation from a project mentor. Carefully review the application instructions.
Please direct all inquires about the Judith Lee Stronach Baccalaureate Prize to StronachPrize@ learning.berkeley.edu.