Independent research experiences are a vital complement to the course work for English majors. The English Department is fortunate to have internal funding sources such as the Lilly Fund to provide support for student projects.

Named in honor of beloved English Professor Henry T. Lilly, who taught a wide variety of classes in British literature at Davidson over a 40-year career, the Lilly Fund provides support for the following types of work and experiences:

  • Independent and class-based student research projects which require travel or have considerable associated costs
  • Class trips to plays, conferences, and other relevant events, and visitors to classes on campus
  • Study abroad grants (need and merit-based) for majors participating in the Davidson College Cambridge Program

Recently the Lilly Fund helped support the following student projects:

  • Chelsea Alexander ’17 took an independent study on screenwriting in Spring 2018; she augmented her regular meetings with her professor by taking an online masterclass in screenwriting created by award-winning TV producer and writer Shonda Rimes, paid for by the Lilly Fund.
  • Honors student Allison Cheeseman '17 researched and wrote about the past, present, and future of women in the long-haul trucking industry for her honors thesis in reported creative nonfiction seminar. The Lilly Fund covered travel costs to attend NASTC (National Association of Small Trucking Companies) conference in November to meet key stakeholders and interview industry participants. 
  • Honors students Meredith Foulke ‘17 and Leah Stauber ’17 and Abbott Scholar Leah Mell ’18 received travel funding to attend the 2018 Association of Writers & Writing Programs Conference in Tampa, Florida. AWP holds an annual conference and massive book fair for writers, students, and professors and draws over 12,000 attendees for its enriching lectures, panels, and readings. 
  • Maurice Norman ’19 developed Project: Token, an art installation project that combines photography, spoken word, and narrative techniques to represent a multiplicity of narratives from Davidson students of color. The project was installed in late March on Patterson Court Lawn, and Maurice gave a presentation about the project in early May. The Lilly Fund helped defray refreshment costs for this timely and important project.