Wesleyan University is making sure prospective students are not throwing away their shots, thanks to the new Hamilton Prize for Creativity.
On Wednesday, Wesleyan announced the establishment of the four-year full tuition scholarship that honors Wesleyan alumni Lin-Manuel Miranda, who created and stars in Hamilton, and Thomas Kail, who directed the production.
The Wesleyan University Hamilton Prize will be awarded to an incoming student, beginning with the class of 2021, who has submitted a creative written work that is judged to best reflect originality, artistry, and dynamism, according to the university. The work can be fiction, poetry, lyrics, play, script, nonfiction, or another expression.
Miranda tweeted that he was overwhelmed by the news and slipped in a reference to the rap in “Blow Us All Away” from Hamilton.
I'M A GET A SCHOLARSHIP IN HAM'S NAME
I PROBLY SHOULDNT BRAG BUT DAG WES IS CHANGIN THE GAME
(OVERWHELMED by this) https://t.co/o1WtHG4asm
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) June 15, 2016
On Sunday, Hamilton won 11 awards at the Tonys, including Best Musical, Best Direction of a Musical by Kail, and Best Original Score by Miranda. For his acceptance speech, Miranda wrote a sonnet for the victims of the Orlando shooting.
“I’m truly honored and excited that Wesleyan has created this prize,” Miranda said in a release. “Wesleyan nurtures creativity and encourages students to make connections across disciplines. I got my shot at Broadway thanks to the start I had as an artist in this environment, and I hope this prize will help other young writers to get their start.”
“Learning to tell a compelling story that will engage an audience is the hardest task for any writer,” Kail said in the release, “and I’m delighted that Wesleyan is recognizing and encouraging young people to persevere as writers.”
Miranda and Kail will also serve with faculty and alumni on the panel that will select the winner of the prize. Interested students can learn more information here.