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 ’18 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.

  • Abbott English Honors Scholars Leah Mell ’19 and Isabella Sakelaris ’19 received travel funding to attend the 2019 Association of Writers & Writing Programs Conference in Portland, Oregon. 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 ’20 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 ’18 on Patterson Court Lawn, and Maurice gave a presentation about the project in early May ‘18. The Lilly Fund helped defray refreshment costs for this timely and important project.

  • Honors Scholar Susannah Cate received funding in Summer 2019 to travel to Morro Bay, California, the site of a short story she is currently revising as part of her creative honors thesis.