Feb. 06, 2013

Alumnus is first to win Dante Prize twice


As a sophomore, Will Porter '12 received the 2010 Dante Society of America's Dante Prize for the best undergraduate essay. He recently received the 2012 Dante Prize as well. It is the first time in the society's long history that an undergraduate student has received the award twice.

"I truly admire Will, as a student and as a person," said President Christopher C. Dahl. "Receiving this major national award in both his sophomore and senior years has further distinguished him as an outstanding scholar with boundless intellectual potential. As a student, he was universally admired by faculty for the caliber of his critical skills, the grace and polish of his writing, his love of literature, his personal modesty, and his collaborative relationships with fellow students. I was privileged to get to know him as a student in one of my courses. Without a doubt he is one of the college's most talented graduates."

Porter won virtually all literary prizes Geneseo offers and also received recognition for presentations at national meetings. He was an Edgar Fellow and a member of the college's Phi Beta Kappa chapter. He was the only undergraduate to attend a national conference sponsored by Phi Beta Kappa and the American Conference of Academic Deans on the future of the liberal arts.

"Will was perhaps the most outstanding undergraduate writer I have ever encountered," said Ron Herzman, Distinguished Teaching Professor of English and a well-known expert on Dante. "I'm quite certain he is destined to become a leading scholar in his field, and I was honored to experience his intellectual maturity and deep appreciation for engaged scholarship."