The Carl S. Knopf Award For Best Student Paper on the Ancient World

This award is supported by generous financial contributions from Susan Torkelson and Steven N. Dulaney '97, M.A.T. '98. Initial funding also came from Dr. John W. Cotton '47.

Deadline: TBD 

The Carl S. Knopf award is bestowed annually on the Willamette undergraduate student who has written the best term paper or senior thesis dealing directly with the ancient world or with the reception of ancient cultures worldwide in later time periods.

This award is dedicated to the memory of biblical scholar and Assyriologist Carl Sumner Knopf (1889-1942), who served as president of Willamette University from 1941-1942. As a prolific biblical scholar who combined his expertise in theological studies with interests in ancient history, Near Eastern archaeology, and Assyriology, Carl S. Knopf is an excellent example of the interdisciplinary nature of the area of research supported by the Center for Ancient Studies and Archaeology.

The purpose of this award is to honor students who invest extra time and care in researching and writing about a topic that deals directly with the ancient world or with the reception of ancient cultures worldwide in later time periods. The ancient world is understood to include the ancient cultures of the Mediterranean world, but also those of the ancient Near East, Asia, Africa, Oceania, and America. Papers dealing with the reception of such cultures in later time periods might focus on the use and re-contextualization of literary or artistic themes, motifs, and styles inherited from an ancient tradition or, for example, on the contemporary audience response to a new staging of an ancient play.

With this award, the Center seeks not only to reward those students who are already doing superior work in their classes, but also to raise the quality of papers in ancient studies overall. A call for paper submissions will be issued at the beginning of each spring semester with a specific deadline set at the start of May. The deadline for the current academic year is: Monday, March 18, 2024. Papers submitted must have been written for a class during the current semester or during the previous calendar year (i.e., spring semester 2024, fall semester 2023, or spring semester 2023). Papers may be submitted by Willamette undergraduate students themselves or, in consultation with the student author, by a faculty member on behalf of that student.

Papers are read anonymously by a small committee of CASA core faculty members selected by the CASA director. Papers are judged with respect to original thinking, excellent writing and research skills, and familiarity with important disciplinary conventions. Winners are encouraged to submit their winning paper to the Willamette University's Student Scholarship Recognition Day  in April. The award carries a monetary prize in the amount of $250.

Carl Knopf Grant Application

Please submit papers for consideration electronically (as an attached .pdf) to 
Reyna Meyers Administrative Program Coordinator for the Center for Ancient Studies and Archaeology

Black CASA Logo

Carl S. Knopf Award

Winners of the Carl S. Knopf Award


Hannah Purdy 
At the Intersection of Gender and Olympianization in Ancient Myths

View past recipients
Willamette University

Center for Ancient Studies and Archaeology

Gatke Hall
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.

Back to Top