During Grinnell College’s sesquicentennial celebration in 1996, the Joseph F. Wall ’41 Service Award was established as a tribute to the college’s 150 year tradition of social commitment. The award was named in honor of Joseph Wall ‘41, late professor of history and longtime dean of the college, who inspired an ideal of social responsibility in his students.
In 2015, the college will award one graduate (or one pair of graduates) with a prize of $50,000 to either jump start of complete a project that shows creativity and commitment to effecting positive social change. Projects may be original or supplement existing programs; address issues specific to local communities or be of wider global concern; be carried out domestically or internationally. Any graduate of Grinnell College is eligible to apply.
The 2015 Wall Alumni Prize online application process will open in May and close on June 15, 2015. If you have any questions regarding your application, please contact the Prize coordinator, Saunia Powell '02 at powell[at]grinnell[dot]edu.
A completed application will consist of the following elements:
- An application form, to be filled out online. A link to the form will be available here on May 1, 2014.
- A project description of no more than 10 pages (single-spaced) which addresses the questions and issues listed below. Each question should be addressed and clearly labeled, preferably by including the question that you are answering before your response. The committee recognizes that Wall projects and their descriptions may differ substantially from one another, so you may reorder or combine these questions as need be. However, all questions must be addressed within your 10-page project description. In general, the committee recommends that you use under three pages to answer the first question, and under one page to answer each of the remaining questions, but this is merely a suggestion and not a guideline.
a) Provide a detailed description of your project and a brief work plan. Be as specific as you can.
b) A brief profile of the organization(s) involved in the proposal, including basic information such as the year it was founded, mission statement, summary of staff, and size of the annual budget.
c) Why is this project important to you?
d) What goals do you hope to achieve?
e) When do you anticipate your project will begin, and when will it conclude?
f) Describe in detail your qualifications to undertake this project.
g) How does this project relate to your own experiences?
h) Discuss your financial needs and detail other sources of support (if any). What alternative sources of funding are you or have you pursued? What are other long-term possible sources of support?
i) What percentage of your budget is earmarked for salaries, stipends, and/or benefits? Wall funds may be used for these purposes, but the committee is interested in knowing exactly how much will go towards this area.
j) As applicable, what is the relevant research that supports your proposal? Though this is not a research brief, the committee is interested in any academic work that supports your model.
k) How will you document your accomplishments?
- Proposed project budget (for the duration of your project proposal)
- Grinnell College transcript if you are a graduate of the last five years.
- Your resume.
- A letter of support from your sponsoring organization (if appropriate)
- A minimum of three and a maximum of six letters of recommendation. Letters should address your ability to carry out your proposed project, and, as applicable, the importance of your project. Letters received after the deadline will not be considered.
Letters of recommendation and support may be emailed directly to Saunia Powell, powell[at]grinnell[dot]edu, or may be included in the application materials submitted by the applicant (ie: uploaded in the online application).
By submitting an application for the Wall Alumni Prize, you are attesting that the information provided in your application and project description is a good-faith representation of what you wish to undertake, and that you will use the grant awarded to you for the purposes detailed in your application. All applicants are expected to adhere to these ethical guidelines.*
Please note: The Wall Alumni Prize is paid in two installments of $25,000; the first in September 2015, and the second after the recipient has submitted a mid-project report to the committee by a mutually agreed-upon date (in early 2016). Prize funds are sent directly to the alumni who receives the award, and may be treated as taxable income. Wall Prize recipients may themselves donate the award to a non-profit agency, and in doing so may reduce their tax liability. All applicants for the Wall Prize should consult with a tax professional to determine how receiving this award would impact their individual tax picture. If the alumni who receives the award has non-resident tax status in the US, Grinnell College is required to withhold 30% federal tax unless the award is exempt under IRS tax code or a tax treaty.
In selecting Prize winners, the committee takes into account the following criteria:
- Does the proposal further the Wall Alumni Prize goal of effecting positive social change?
- Does the proposal include a clear and realistic plan of implementation?
- Are the goals for the proposed project realistic and achievable?
- Does the proposal include a clear and realistic plan for evaluation and reporting on results?
- Does the applicant's background indicate the ability to carry out the project and achieve its objectives?
- To what extent would a Wall Alumni Prize help to create a new program, or add something new to an existing program, that might not be possible without the award?
- To what extent would a Wall Alumni Prize help to create an ongoing program that will survive beyond the period of the award?
- To what extent will the applicant be personally involved as a principal of the project?
All potential applicants are strongly encouraged by the Wall Alumni Prize Committee to contact Saunia Powell '02, the Wall Alumni Prize coordinator, to discuss their project before submission.
Saunia Powell '02
Assistant Director of Post-Graduate Service & Coordinator of the Grinnell Prize
Center for Careers, Life, and Service
Grinnell College | 1127 Park St. Grinnell, IA 50112
641-269-4940 office | 641-269-4508 fax