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Recognizing Student Arts Leaders

With the debut of the Graywill Award for Arts Leadership & Service in 2019, Duke students can now nominate a fellow student—or themselves—to be recognized for contributing to the arts community on campus. Kelsey Graywill (Class of 2018, Program II Major, duARTS President 2017–2018) and Bryan Burr (Class of 2019, DUU VP External Engagement 2017-2018, DUU President 2018-2019) worked with university administrators to establish this award to ensure student arts leaders—who may or may not major in the arts—do not slip through institutional cracks. This award, endowed by Duke University Union (DUU), will be given during Duke Commencement at the annual Arts Awards Ceremony.


The prize will be awarded to 1-2 students who are accomplished artists and effective arts leaders, with preference given to those to serve the community broadly rather than a singular discipline. Students may come from any background, including non-art majors. Students should have qualifications in a given medium, including dance, theatrical performance, visual art, film, photography, writing, or music, for which they should submit a sample portfolio of work. Nominations should be primarily judged on evident leadership and service to the arts as demonstrated by the student’s personal statement and the recommendations of their advisors and mentors. Each nomination must include a list of accomplishments in the arts and arts leadership on campus, provided by the student. Students may nominate themselves.

The selection committee will be comprised of faculty and administrators that are able to identify students who been exceptional in their service to the arts community at Duke, specifically those who work closely with student life and affairs. It will be convened by the Duke University Union (DUU) President or another officer of DUU designated by the DUU President with the advice of the Assistant Director of Arts & Media.

The prize will be awarded at the Annual Arts Award Ceremony for graduating seniors along with other endowed arts awards. Prize amount: $500-$1000, awarded to one or more students.

Past Winners

2019: Rebekah Wellons
2020: Pingyi Zhu