The Wesleyan University Hamilton Prize
Wesleyan is proud to announce The Wesleyan University Hamilton Prize for Creativity, a four-year full-tuition scholarship established in honor of Hamilton writer and original star Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02, Hon. '15 and director Thomas Kail ’99. The story of our country's youngest founding father—a brash young immigrant who forever changed the course of history—Hamilton is an extraordinary artistic achievement: a multicultural hip-hop opera that offers a profoundly original look at the birth of our nation. The Wesleyan University Hamilton Prize for Creativity will be awarded to the incoming student of Wesleyan's Class of 2021 whose work of fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction or other creative written expression (lyrics, plays, scripts, etc.) best reflects the originality, artistry and dynamism embodied in Hamilton.
The Hamilton Prize selection process will commence soon and a winner from our matriculated students in the class of 2021 will be announced around mid-May.
Hamilton Prize Selection Committee
Wesleyan University has announced the distinguished members of its inaugural Hamilton Prize Selection Committee. The all-star committee, made up of Wesleyan alumni, will choose the first-ever recipient of the Wesleyan University Hamilton Prize for Creativity.
“Bringing the Wes community together to select the first recipient of the Hamilton Prize for Creativity fills me with love and gratitude,” said Miranda. “I am humbled to be a member of such a talented group of passionate, creative forces.”
“Wesleyan gave us all the freedom to explore our creativity without boundaries or limits,” added Kail. “Working alongside Wes alums to choose an original written work for the first-ever Hamilton Prize is an honor.”
Thomas Kail ’99 (right) is the Tony-winning director of Hamilton: An American Musical, Emmy-winning director of Grease Live and Tony-nominated director of In the Heights. Kail is currently directing Tiny Beautiful Things at the Public Theater, in New York. He recently made a deal for his production company, Old 320 Sycamore, to work exclusively at Twentieth Century Fox Television.
Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02, Hon. ’15 (left) is the Pulitzer Prize-, Grammy-, Emmy- and Tony-winning writer/creator and original star of Hamilton: An American Musical and In the Heights. A recipient of a MacArthur “genius” fellowship, Miranda’s latest projects include co-executive producing The Hamilton Mixtape, composing songs for the new Disney movie Moana and starring in Disney’s upcoming Mary Poppins Returns.
Photo: Robert Adam Mayer
Hamilton Prize FAQs
- What is the Wesleyan University Hamilton Prize for Creativity?
The Wesleyan University Hamilton Prize for Creativity is a four-year full-tuition scholarship to be awarded to the incoming student, beginning with Wesleyan’s Class of 2021, whose work of creative written expression is judged to best reflect the originality, artistry and dynamism embodied in Broadway’s Hamilton. Winner of eleven 2016 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Hamilton tells the story of our country’s youngest founding father: Alexander Hamilton, a brash young immigrant who changed the course of history. The scholarship was established in honor of Hamilton creator, writer, composer and lyricist Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02 and director Thomas Kail ’99—award-winning Wesleyan alumni who embody the University’s spirit of boldness, creativity and experimentation.
- Who is eligible to apply for the Hamilton Prize? Are international students eligible? What about Early Decision applicants?
All incoming first-year students at Wesleyan are eligible to apply for the Hamilton Prize, whether they apply through early decision or in the regular decision round.
- Do I need to apply to Wesleyan University to be considered for the Hamilton Prize?
Yes. The Hamilton Prize will be awarded as a four-year full-tuition scholarship to an incoming first-year student beginning with Wesleyan’s Class of 2021. To be considered, you must also apply to Wesleyan using the Common Application. Interested students can apply to Wesleyan online at wesleyan.edu/admission.
- How do I apply for the Hamilton Prize?
In addition to a completed application for admission to Wesleyan, Hamilton Prize applicants must submit an original work of creative written expression. Acceptable submissions include short fiction, poetry, slam poetry and song lyrics, as well as excerpts from longer works of fiction, creative nonfiction, screenplays or theatrical plays, and any other form of creative written expression. Specific details and submission guidelines can be found here.
- What is the deadline to apply for the Hamilton Prize?
Regardless of the Wesleyan application round to which you apply (early decision I/II or regular admission), completed applications for the Hamilton Prize must be received on or before January 1, 2017.
- Should I still apply for financial aid if I apply for the Hamilton Prize?
Wesleyan University is committed to meeting the full demonstrated need of all admitted students. We strongly encourage you to apply for financial aid in addition to the Hamilton Prize if you know you will need financial assistance. For details on applying for need-based aid, visit wesleyan.edu/finaid.
- Is the Hamilton Prize only open to students who are eligible for Financial Aid?
No. All incoming first-year students are eligible to be considered for the Hamilton Prize, regardless of financial need. For details on how to apply for need-based aid, visit wesleyan.edu/finaid.