Perkins Prize

The James A. Perkins Prize for Interracial & Intercultural Peace & Harmony

Application Deadline: Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Ceremony: Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Trustee Thomas W. Jones '69 has chosen to endow The James A. Perkins Prize for Interracial and Intercultural Peace and Harmony for the recognition of the Cornell student, faculty, staff member, or program making the most significant contribution to furthering the ideal of university community while respecting the values of racial diversity.

This $5,000 prize is awarded at a special ceremony each spring. Other individuals devoted to advancing University community through intercultural understanding and harmony will also be honored.

The Perkins Prize will be awarded with the understanding that the money will be used to further projects which promote intercultural understanding and harmony at Cornell University.

Faculty, staff or students are to apply for the award, and members of the Cornell community are invited to nominate applicants as well as encourage potential applicants to apply directly.

How to Apply

Applications are now being accepted.  Please visit our Perkins Prize and SCL Diversity and Inclusion Award online application form.
Questions?  Please email

Perkins Prize and SCL Diversity and Inclusion Award Criteria

In order to complete the application you will need to upload a letter of nomination (250-300 words) addressing the criteria for each award you are submitting a nomination as well as a photo of the program, organization or event.

Perkins Prize

  • Nominees will be reviewed based on exhibiting the following criteria over the last 12 months
  • The number and diverse identities of students participating in a sustained level of involvement, which leads to a set of accomplishments;
  • The extent to which these accomplishments promote common values and shared community standards among diverse students; and
  • The extent to which these accomplishments enhance the abilities of students to work with, live with, and learn from individuals from a wide range of backgrounds, beliefs, identities and cultural perspectives.

Student & Campus Life Diversity and Inclusion Awards

Quiet Influence Award: This award is presented to an undergraduate student whose significant effort in the area of diversity and inclusion is evident by building up or influencing others.  This individual engages in this work, often times under the radar, showing a commitment to listening, influencing and/or winning over others to make noticeable contributions to the campus community.

  • A member of the organization they influence but need not be an officer
  • Inspires their organization to develop new ideas, services, and programs
  • Encourages a team atmosphere in their role in the organization
  • Leads others by example
  • Shows commitment through a significant dedication of both time and energy to the organization
  • Accomplished these criteria in a way that leads public attention toward the work of the organization

Student Organization of the Year Award: Awarded to one undergraduate student organization and one graduate or professional organization, to recognize a group that has successfully demonstrated a commitment to diversity and inclusion, exemplifying their overall mission and purpose through campus engagement that made a lasting impact on the campus community.

  • Demonstrates evidence of meeting organizational purpose and goals
  • Demonstrates engagement across campus to make a positive impact on diversity and inclusion efforts
  • Demonstrates creativity and perseverance through their programs and outreach
  • Actively promote an inclusive environment for underrepresented and marginalized student communities

Transformational Leadership Award: Awarded to an undergraduate student who has established a legacy of transformative leadership that contributed to an inclusive environment and has made a valuable contribution to student communities and the broader Cornell community

  • Inspires others to take up the mantle to become a leader on an issue, project, or in an organization
  • Has made a valuable contribution and lasting impact within student communities and/or the broader Cornell community
  • Actively promotes an inclusive environment for underrepresented and marginalized communities

Complete the application ( and upload letters and photos. (A preview of the application questions are below)

Perkins Prize and SCL Diversity and Inclusion Awards Application Questions

Nominator Information

Information about the Nominee
Project/Program/Faculty/Staff/Student being nominated:
College (if applicable)
Class Year if Applicable

Please attach a nomination letter addressed to the nomination committee detailing how your program and/or group meets the criteria for each selected award in 250-300 words.

Please attach a single file with pictures of your event/group/student leaders.

Optional Additional Photo:
Optional Additional Photo:
Optional Additional Photo:

If nominating a group/organization, please attach a list of the participants that should be recognized.