James R. Shirley (1925-1993) joined the history department in 1962 as a specialist for Chinese history. He was renowned for his teaching, and Asian history became a popular subject for students during the thirty years he taught at NIU. Shirley also served as faculty adviser for the local chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the international honor society in history. The Shirley family established an endowment in honor of James R. Shirley. The award recognizes a student who wrote an essay of unusual academic distinction on any topic in Asian history. Considered are essays written in any Asian history class during the previous two semesters.
Monetary Award: $500 and a book prize
Eligibility: Undergraduate history majors and minors
Application: Faculty who would like to nominate a student should submit the student's essay to the History Department office. Students can also nominate themselves by submitting the application form, an electronic version to email@example.com addition to the paper essay to the History Department office.