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Lilly Fellows Program announces Nicholas Sooy as one of ten Lilly Graduate Fellows

May 23rd, 2016


Each year, the Messiah College Alumni Association presents the Donald and Anna Zook Alumni Merit Award to a graduating senior. The faculty selects the recipient based on strength of academic record, maturity of Christian faith and character, and contributions of service, leadership, and reconciliation. This morning, Messiah College is honored to present the 2016 Alumni Merit Award to Nicholas Sooy.

The Lilly Graduate Fellows Program is a part of the Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts that supports outstanding students who want to explore the connections among Christianity, higher education, and the vocation of the teacher-scholar as they pursue graduate degrees in humanities and the arts.

On May 14, Sooy graduated summa cum laude with a double major in philosophy and peace and conflict studies, with minors in psychology and mathematics. His academic accomplishments include leading two directed studies in philosophy of religion, while demonstrating a truly unusual level of creativity, insight and independence of thought.

The ten Fellows were selected by an eight-member selection committee who interviewed sixteen finalists (selected from fifty-six applicants) in April 2016.

The Lilly Graduate Fellows Program is funded by a generous grant from Lilly Endowment Inc.  The program will select a total of ten cohorts of Graduate Fellows from the current ninety-nine schools that make up the Lilly Fellows Program National Network of Church-Related Schools.  Lilly Graduate Fellows participate in a three-year program in which they meet regularly with a mentor, attend four conferences, participate in a long-distance colloquium, and receive three annual stipends of $3000 ($9000 total) to use at their discretion. For more information on the Lilly Graduate Fellows Program, visit

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