GENESEO, N.Y. – Cory Young, a senior at SUNY Geneseo from Pittsford, N.Y., recently won the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC) inaugural David J. Prior Award for an essay he wrote about an encounter he and a friend had on campus with an alumnus from the class of 1967 and his wife.
The Prior Award was established last June in memory of University of Virginia's College at Wise Chancellor and COPLAC President David J. Prior. It recognizes a student whose academic career has been shaped by the transformative power of the liberal arts and sciences experience at a COPLAC institution.
Young and his friend Jake were watching dusk settle over the Genesee Valley at a favorite viewing spot on campus when they struck up a conversation with the couple. They spent the evening reminiscing, sharing their experiences and discovering more about their life perspectives.
"It was an experience I had the summer after my sophomore year while living in Geneseo and working as an admissions tour guide," said Young, a history major with a minor in theater. "Thinking that academia should be accessible, I wrote a short piece of creative non-fiction that I thought would be appealing, so I wrote about that chance encounter."
A review committee consisting of COPLAC presidents/chancellors emeritus chose his essay, "Geneseo, Class of '67," saying it is stylish, elegantly written and original.
"My thanks to Dr. Bill Spellman and the COPLAC committee for the honor and to Dr. Justin Behrend of Geneseo's history department for supporting me," said Young. "I also thank all of my friends here who helped me discover the true value of the public liberal arts experience."
Young is one of 16 presidential scholars at Geneseo and also was recently elected to the college's chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society.
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