Eugene R. Cummings Senior Thesis Prize in LGBT Studies
Harvard Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality will award $1000 to the best senior thesis on a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender Studies topic from any department or program at Harvard. The thesis should focus on LGBT subject matter, rather than touching on LGBT issues tangentially. Theses may be submitted by a faculty member or by an undergraduate; there is no formal nomination process.
PDF versions of the thesis and of the readers’ comments should be emailed to the Committee on Degrees in Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality at email@example.com by the date to be announced here (likely mid-April 2021). Applicants should use "Cummings Prize application" as the subject of their email. If readers’ comments are not available by the deadline, students are responsible for asking their concentration’s Director of Studies or Head Tutor to email firstname.lastname@example.org with the date the readings will be available. To expedite distribution of the award, the email should include the following information: the entrant's name and Harvard ID number, telephone number, mailing address, and e-mail. The prize will be awarded at the Women, Gender, and Sexuality year-end reception on Wednesday, May 5, 2021.
Eugene R. Cummings, the son of an Irish immigrant schoolteacher from Fall River, Massachusetts, was a gay student at the Harvard Dental School who ended his life on June 11, 1920, just days short of receiving his degree, after being interrogated and informed that he would be expelled by the “Secret Court” that purged gay men from Harvard in 1920. The prize was established to ensure that his name and experiences will not be forgotten and that future generations will have opportunities for self-expression that were denied to Mr. Cummings. It is made possible by gift of The Open Gate, a private charitable foundation established by the Harvard Gender & Sexuality Caucus.
Jane C. Grant Senior Prize
This prize is funded with part of the income from gifts given by Jane C. Grant and her husband, William B. Harris. Jane C. Grant was a women's rights advocate from the 1920s until her death in 1972. She also co-founded The New Yorker and was a reporter for the New York Times. Having begun work at the Times in a clerical capacity, she became the paper's first woman general assignment reporter and in the mid-1930s traveled to Europe, the Balkans, the Far East, and Russia as a foreign correspondent. Her increasingly visible literary profile earned her a place among the literary elite of the Algonquin Hotel "Round Table." During the 1960s, Grant wrote Ross, the New Yorker, and Me, donating royalties from the book to the Harvard-Radcliffe Fund for the Study of Women, which she established with Doris Stevens. The purpose of that fund was to finance and support the study of women in all cultures and periods of history.
The Jane C. Grant Senior Prize is given to the graduating senior with the best overall academic performance in WGS. There is no competition for this award; eligible candidates will be considered without application. The prize will be awarded at the Women, Gender, and Sexuality end-of-year party.