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Dale Center for the Study of War and Society

Virginia Culpepper Memorial Award


Mrs. Virginia Culpepper

The Virginia Culpepper Memorial Award recognizes the best paper or presentation that relates to the field of war and society and the humanities at the yearly Undergraduate Symposium on Research and Creative Activity hosted at the University of Southern Mississippi each spring. The student project can pertain to anything in the field of war and society, but preference is given to projects that relate to the arts and humanities. It will only be presented in years where a project is of high quality and is pertinent to the focus on this award.

The Virginia Culpepper Memorial Award was created in 2015 in memory of one of the Dale Center’s most enthusiastic supporters, Mrs. Virginia Culpepper. Along with her husband, Dr. J.P. Culpepper, Virginia regularly attended Dale Center events, contributed to our endowment, and was an enthusiast supporter of Dale Center scholars and students. Virginia was also a longtime supporter of the arts in the Hattiesburg community and at the University of Southern Mississippi.

2019 Award Winner: 

2018 Award Winner: Ms. Kristen McGuire

History major Kristen McGuire received a 2018 Virginia Culpepper Memorial Award for her paper, “The Blacklist Curtain Call,” which investigated Hollywood’s resistance to McCarthyism in the 1950s. 

2016 Award Winner: Ms. Armendia Hulsey

The second annual Virginia Culpepper Memorial Award was awarded in April 2016 to Ms. Armendia Hulsey for her analysis of the Jefferson Davis Soldier Home, Beauvoir.  

2015 Award Winner: Ms. Erin Blackledge    

Dr Susannah Ural, Co-director of the Dale Center, presenting the inagural CulpepThe inaugural Virginia Culpepper Memorial Award was awarded on April 25, 2015 to Ms. Erin Blackledge. Erin’s paper on Britain's public relations use of the death of nurse Edith Cavell to inspire greater support for allied forces and opposition to Germany in World War I was an excellent example of war and society scholarship. Erin's use of traditional archival and historical sources to show how Cavell's death was used by British propagandists in posters, poetry, and in film, makes her an excellent recipient for the first Virginia Culpepper Award.   

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