The Kendrick Kelley Honors Program provides a unique opportunity for outstanding history students to produce a significant piece of historical research and writing. It consists of three core components: 

  • Kelley Scholars are chosen from the most promising history majors, and given financial stipends to conduct independent research towards the completion of a Kelley Honors Thesis.
  • The Kelley Lecture Series brings distinguished historians to speak at Davidson.
  • The Kelley Award is granted to a senior history major who "best exemplifies Ken Kelley's personal qualities-superior academic performance, self-effacing leadership, and genuine integrity."

Juniors apply each spring to the History Department for senior year admission as a Kelley Scholar. Once accepted, they research and write a substantial senior thesis of 80-100 pages. Each thesis is expected to make a valuable and original contribution to historical research, based on primary sources and archival manuscript collections.

Past Historical Topics Researched by Kelley Scholars

  • The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War
  • The British Response to the American Civil War
  • German Response to the Armenian Genocide of 1915
  • Land Tenancy in North Carolina in the 1930s
  • American Responses to Indian Nationalism after World War II
  • Elite Women's Search for Solitude in the Antebellum South

About Kendrick Kelley

Named after a Davidson alumnus who was killed in the Vietnam War, the History Department is deeply honored by the generosity of his friends and family. The Ken Kelley Program in Historical Studies stands as a living monument to a gifted and self-sacrificing man who embodied Davidson values. The program offers a remarkable opportunity for the very best students to challenge themselves as apprentices in the demanding and rewarding craft of historical research and writing.

For further information about the Kelley Program contact professor Jonathan Berkey.