Lewis J. McNurlen Scholarship For Outstanding Sociology Major

The McNurlen scholarship was initiated with funds from an anonymous donor and is given annually by the Department to a student judged to be the most outstanding junior sociology major. The award recognizes distinctive academic performance and extra-curricular activity while at Drake University.

To be eligible for the McNurlen Scholarship, a nominee, must:

  1. be a declared sociology major (double majors are sociology majors)
  2. be an enrolled undergraduate student, classified as a junior
  3. have at least a 3.50 grade point average for all courses taken during their college career
  4. have a record of activities demonstrating citizenship in the university community

Nomination Procedures

Early in the spring semester all eligible students will be sent an invitation to apply for the scholarship. The specific application procedures will be reviewed in that letter. Generally, the applicants are requested to submit:

  1. A résumé (especially noting activities at Drake)
  2. An essay on a specified topic
  3. A statement of career goals
  4. A copy of their transcript

McNurlen Award For Outstanding Sociology Senior 

The McNurlen Award is given annually to a student judged to be the most outstanding senior sociology major. The award is given for distinctive performance in both academic and extra-curricular work while at Drake.

To be eligible for the McNurlen Award, a nominee, must:

  1. be a declared sociology major (double majors are sociology majors)
  2. be an enrolled undergraduate student who has completed at least 90 semester hours toward graduation at the time they are nominated
  3. have completed at least 21 hours of sociology courses (taken at Drake and/or elsewhere)
  4. have at least a 3.50 grade point average for all courses taken during their college career (including all sociology courses completed)

Nomination Procedures:

Students may nominate themselves for this award or they may be nominated by other students or faculty.

Early in the spring semester all nominated students will be sent an invitation to apply for the award. The specific application procedures will be reviewed in that letter.

Generally, the applicants are requested to complete an application form that requests information about hours and courses in sociology completed, GPA, extra-curricular activities at Drake, at other schools and in the community. In addition, applicants may be asked to complete an essay on a specified topic or to submit a sample of written work.


About Dr. Lewis J. McNurlen

Until his death on February 5, 1994, Dr. McNurlen was Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Drake University. His doctorate was from Duke University; his B.A. and M.A. degrees from Drake University. Dr. McNurlen was a Drake faculty member from 1957 until his retirement in 1985. The areas he most enjoyed teaching were marriage and the family, anthropology and social psychology for which he won both University and College teaching awards. He served at various times as Chair of the Sociology Department and Assistant Dean of the College of Liberal Arts.

Dr. McNurlen was a clinical member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, and was a member of the American Sociological Association, the Midwest Sociological Society, and other professional associations. In 1977, the yearly Lewis J. McNurlen Award was established in his honor.

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September 30, 2016
The inaugural Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education ranking of U.S. colleges placed Drake University at 149 in a list that includes more than 1,000 schools nationwide.
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