The University honored College senior Evan Dunn ('10OX) with the Marion Luther Brittain Award this weekend. The award is the highest honor given to a University student, according to the Emory website.
The Brittain award recognizes a graduating student from any of Emory’s academic schools, including both undergraduate and graduate divisions, and the winner must demonstrate that she or he has “performed the most significant, meritorious, and devoted service” to the University, according to the nomination guidelines for the award. The winner receives $5,000 in addition to the award.
A selection committee comprised of 21 representatives from all undergraduate and graduate divisions, including Oxford, reviews the candidates, according to Senior Vice President and Dean of Campus Life John Ford. Upon coming to a decision, the committee submits a recommendation to Ford, who then approves the winner.
Dunn said that since he had been busy with class and work, Dean of the College Robin Forman’s phone call notifying him that he had won the award caught him off guard.
“I thought he was telling me I was a finalist, so I had to ask for clarification,” Dunn said. “When I finally put it all together, I was speechless. I have not told many people, primarily just my sister and a few close friends. They were all very proud.”
On campus, Dunn serves on the Honor Council as well as the Committee for Academic Integrity. He has also served as an orientation leader and captain and currently works with the Oxford Continuee Association. In addition, he hosts a radio show called “Ban List Radio” for
WMRE, Emory’s student radio station.
Upon graduation, Dunn — who is majoring in both history and political science — plans to teach high-school math in Atlanta as part of the Teach for America program. He said that he would use the monetary component of the Brittain Award to buy supplies for his classroom next year.
Meggan Arp, associate dean of undergraduate education who nominated Dunn, explained that she did so after collaborating with him to reform the honor code. She said that he led efforts to make four amendments to the honor code in order to increase the efficiency of the hearing process for students.
According to Arp, the amendments that Dunn spearheaded will “allow for an expedited hearing process for students who accept responsibility for breaching the Honor Code” in addition to establishing a faculty vote “to restore faculty confidence in the process.”
Arp also cited Dunn’s involvement with volunteer and service efforts on campus as influencing her decision to nominate him, praising him as one of “the most selfless individuals whom [she] has ever encountered at Emory.”
“He volunteers at women’s shelters without sleep and still arrives at our weekly [Honor Council] meetings with new ideas,” she said. “He shines as a leader of justice with a beautiful humility.”
The University established the Brittain award in honor of Marion Luther Brittain, an 1886 Emory College graduate who donated the funds to do so.
This year, the committee accepted nominations from the beginning of January to March 23; they considered 22 candidates.
— Contact Stephanie Fang