The University of Southern Mississippi Center for the Study of War and Society presented the 2010 Jack Lucas Award to Kendon Levett during a ceremony on Tuesday, May 11 at the Hattiesburg Public Library.
Levett, a senior history major from Hattiesburg, Miss., won for having the best undergraduate essay on a war and society topic. His paper, “From Ardent Tories to Resigned Subjects: The Transformation of New York Loyalists during the American Revolution,” examines the British Army’s role in causing New Yorkers loyal to the British crown to question their allegiance in the wake of military abuse of civilians.
This marks the second year the center has presented this award in honor of the late Jack Lucas, a decorated World War II veteran and longtime Hattiesburg resident.
“Kendon’s paper was chosen because it had a strong argument that was grounded in original primary source research,” said Dr. Heather Stur, a fellow of the center and assistant professor of history at Southern Miss. “Kendon demonstrated his ability to work as a historian, building a case through documentary evidence to support his argument. His paper was very clearly-written and enjoyable to read.”
In addition to the Jack Lucas Award, Levett will receive a cash prize of $150 and a copy of the book, “Indestructible: The Unforgettable Story of a Marine Hero at the Battle of Iwo Jima,” written by Dr. D.K. Drum.
Lucas, who died in 2008, was the youngest Marine to win the Congressional Medal of Honor. During World War II, Lucas threw himself on two hand grenades to protect his fellow Marines at the battle of Iwo Jima in 1945. One of the devices exploded, causing Lucas to have severe injuries. He was honored by former President Harry S.Truman.
The Jack Lucas award is made possible by an endowment created by Dr. Richard McCarthy and Dr. Craig Howard. For more information, contact Dr. Heather Stur at 601.266.4779 or
About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu.