Benjamin T. Carr Memorial Award

Ben CarrThe Benjamin T. Carr Memorial Award was established in 2011 to honor Benjamin Carr, who graduated from the Templeton Honors College in 2006, and tragically died in September 2007. Ben arrived on campus in 2002, bounding with energy and searching for adventure. He was excited and eager to meet people, tenacious in his search for truth, and exuding a thirst for knowledge. He used involvement with the Waltonian (the student newspaper of Eastern University) to keep acutely aware of the pulse of Eastern University, which he wanted to see prosper. More than anything on earth, he cherished his friends and family. He went to extremes to find time to visit, to encourage, to help, and to discuss whatever was important with them. He led by working alongside others, no matter where they were in their journey. Ben died in a drowning accident in September 2007, and his family and friends “will dearly miss him and will look forward to meeting him again in the coming Heavenly Kingdom.”  Recipients of the Carr Award should exemplify a love of seeking the truth as demonstrated by effort, persistence, and potential in journalism or creative non-fiction.The Benjamin T. Carr Memorial Award is an annual $500.00 award that is available to any full-time Eastern University undergraduate student who is published (be it in the Waltonian or another publication).
  • Eligibility: Those who have been a full time undergraduate student at Eastern University at any time during 2017-2018 are eligible to enter the competition.
  • How to Enter: Submit in hard copy a piece of journalism or creative nonfiction published anytime from January 2017 to April 2018 in any peer-reviewed format, including The Waltonian, along with a 400-word statement of your interest in journalism or how you intend to use your writing gifts throughout your life.
  • The Award: $500.00
  • Deadline for Submissions: Thursday, April 12th, 2018
  • Winner Announced: Friday, April 27th, 2018

Past Award Winners

2016:  Lauren Bujaky


The Templeton Honors College is pleased to announce that senior English Literature and Theology major, Lauren Bujaky, is this year’s winner of the annual Benjamin T. Carr Memorial Award for truth seeking in journalism and creative nonfiction.

Miss Bujaky’s winning submission is entitled “’To Put Feet on Faith’: Stanley Murray Awarded EU Alumnus of the Year” and was published in the April 2016 issue of The Waltonian.

As Editor-in-Chief of The Waltonian , Miss Bujaky has “sought to breathe story into Eastern’s community, to step away from the overblown practicalities of the daily and look to the lives of students, faculty, and staff as the things worth telling about.” Her April 2016 article explores the life of Eastern alumnus Stanley Murray (’71), who was honored as EU’s 2016 Alumnus of the Year for his 36 years in ministry in Japan and other parts of Asia.

The panel of judges praised “To Put Feet on Faith” as capturing “true journalism at its finest.” It “gives readers an in-depth look at the life of a man who gave himself first to Eastern during his years of education, and then to the world through his many years in missions.” Miss Bujaky “captures how even in small communities like Eastern, the people and things are worth writing, reading, and caring about… legacies matter, and it’s important for students here and now to understand that they are a part of something bigger and broader than themselves.”

Congratulations to Miss Bujaky for her accomplishment!

Read her winning submission.

2015:  Russell Risden

RisdenMr. Russell Risden was awarded the 2015 Benjamin Carr Award for his article published in a April 2014 issue of The Waltonian, “Remembering Eastern’s History Through Martha Walton’s Painting.”

Mr. Risden has explained that, “I constantly work at being a journalist who does the research and brings the facts to the article I am working on without a political agenda.” This emphasis on fact-based research and unbiased reporting is visible throughout his winning submission, which relies heavily on interviews to piece together some of the history of Eastern’s beautiful campus. In the end he produced a delightful story from Eastern’s past.

The Templeton Honors College congratulates Russell Risden for his accomplishment.

Read his winning submission.

2014:  Abigail Storch

Storch 2Ms. Abigail Storch was awarded the 2014 Benjamin Carr award for her submission, “Create Your Own Culture” , which was published in the November 2013 issue of The Waltonian.

A distinguished panel of judges praised Ms. Storch’s submission for doing “an amazing job of connecting high art (Robert Serra’s Television Delivers People), mass appeal fiction (Tuesdays with Morrie) and the popular culture of our daily television viewing to arrive at a truth about how American culture shapes us.” One judge noted the intriguing truth Storch brought out that “we aspire to be delivered from the mundane details of our daily lives, even as we allow ourselves to be delivered as consumers.” Another commented that the Storch’s writing “exemplified the possibilities of writing as a truth-seeking activity.”

Templeton scholar Abbie Storch (’16) majored in English with a literature concentration and a minor in vocal music. She spent the fall of 2014 as a visiting student at the University of Oxford, where she won the Frederick Buechner Prize for Creative Writing and the de Jager Award for Excellence in Research at Wycliffe Hall. Her research interests lie in the intersection between religion and literature, a subject she hopes to pursue at the graduate level. To read more of Abbie’s writing, visit her blog at

Read her winning submission.

2013:  Alyssa Mallgrave

MallgravePolitics, Philosophy, and Economics major Alyssa Mallgrave (’13) was awarded the 2013 Benjamin T. Carr award for her editorial submission of the November 2, 2012 issue of The Waltonian, which included coverage of both the U.S. Presidential Election and a feature on the next president of Eastern University, Dr. Robert Duffett.

Ms. Mallgrave’s submission was praised by a panel of judges for using “a distinctively warm voice” for the careful and interesting use of statistics to augment the election coverage, and presenting the entire issue “attractively.” One judge commented that her “engagement with journalism has enabled her to connect to the community,” which is a particular emphasis of the Carr award. In her personal statement, Ms. Mallgrave captured this spirit in stating that her goal as Editor-In-Chief of The Waltonian has been “seeking truth within a community.”

Read the series of winning submissions.

2012:  Emilie Eastman

EastmanEmilie Eastman (’12) was the winner of the first annual Benjamin T. Carr Memorial Award for truth seeking in journalism and creative nonfiction. Fittingly a writing major, Emilie submitted her winning article, “The American Day Dream” (published on November 11, 2011).

The submissions were carefully reviewed by a distinguished panel of judges, including retired Eastern University English professor and former Academic Dean, Betsy Morgan, Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writer, Paul Nussbaum, and Eastern and Templeton alumnus Brandon Zimmerman, a doctoral student in Philosophy at Catholic University of America and a dear friend of Benjamin Carr.

The judges gave high praise for Ms. Eastman, noting that she “was the strongest candidate among the talented entries. In her writing, Ms. Eastman demonstrates a laudable facility with language and a keen appreciation for words as a force for good. Her writing evidences a beautiful combination of grounded hope and imaginative realism. She knows that writing is and should be fun for the writer. She also knows that her voice counts, so it better be good. Good for her means telling gritty truths with the passionate expectation that what seems is not determinant. Words, and work, matter deeply!”

Commenting on her submission they noted that “her editorial rightly diagnoses one of the chief problems in the culture of American education and challenges the reader to consider the goodness of life’s natural limits. Her commitment both to journalism and to the less fortunate is apparent in her work. As editor-in-chief of the student paper (2011-2012) and as an advocate for Haitian earthquake victims, Eastman exemplifies the ‘love of seeking the truth as demonstrated by effort, persistence and potential in journalism’ that is the goal of the Carr Award.”

Read her winning submission.