The Patterson Prize honors the values and legacy of Eugene C. Patterson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial writer at the Atlanta Constitution and longtime editor-in-chief of the St. Petersburg Times (now Tampa Bay Times). Patterson, who died in 2013, taught in Duke's public policy program (which would eventually become the Sanford School of Public Policy) and was a founding leader of the DeWitt Wallace Center. An endowed professorship bears his name.
Over the course of his 41-year career, Gene Patterson built his sterling reputation on journalistic excellence, leadership, mentorship, courage and integrity particularly during the Civil Rights Movement in the South. Patterson’s most famous editorial is “A Flower for the Graves” about responsibility for the murder of four children in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church, an African American congregation in Birmingham in 1963.
The $1,000 prize will go to a student who has exemplified those qualities throughout their journalistic career at Duke. Students may nominate themselves, or may be nominated by a faculty member. Students who have worked for any Duke journalism organization may be nominated.
Nominations should include:
1) A 500-word email that describes specifically how a student has modeled the qualities mentioned above, and beyond reporting experience may include editing, service, and mentorship;
2) 5 pieces of journalistic work in any format or genre;
3) A journalism resume; and
4) 2 recommendation letters- one from a Duke student and another from a faculty or staff member.
Please email nominations to Shelley.Stonecipher@Duke.edu by November 1 at noon.
A panel of Duke staff, faculty and alumni will choose the winner, who will be recognized at an awards dinner in the spring.
Christopher Kuo ‘2023