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Wesleyan University Names First-Ever Hamilton Prize Winner

Hamilton collaborators Lin-Manuel Miranda and Thomas Kail helped select the prize's inaugural recipient.

Lin-Manuel Miranda (right) and Thomas Kail (center) helped select the inaugural Wesleyan University Hamilton Prize for Creativity recipient.
(© David Gordon)

A committee of Wesleyan University alumni, chaired by Hamilton writer, creator, and former star Lin-Manuel Miranda '02, Hon. '15 and director Thomas Kail '99, has selected Audrey Pratt of Needham, Massachusetts, as the recipient of the inaugural Wesleyan University Hamilton Prize for Creativity. Her submission, a short piece of fiction titled Thorns, Black and White, was selected from among more than 600 entries.

Pratt, who will graduate this spring from Needham High School, will receive a four-year full-tuition scholarship to Wesleyan, worth as much as $200,000.

"The selection committee was blown away by the range and quality of the submissions we reviewed," said Miranda. "Audrey's story stood out as exceptional, but all of the finalists' work displayed great originality and promise. Being part of Wesleyan's Hamilton Prize selection process has deepened my faith in our creative future."

"We were honored to work with our amazing fellow alumni in selecting this very deserving recipient," added Kail. "I can't wait to see what she produces with a Wesleyan education."

The Wesleyan University Hamilton Prize for Creativity was established in honor of Miranda and Kail's contributions to liberal education and the arts and named for the pair's hit Broadway musical, Hamilton, which in 2016 won 11 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Direction of a Musical, Best Book, and Best Original Score.

In addition to honorary chairs Miranda and Kail, the selection committee members include alumni Carter Bays '97, Amy Bloom '75, Daniel Handler '92, Maggie Nelson '94, Amanda Palmer '98, Mary Roach '81, Bozoma Saint John '99, Kaneza Schaal '06, Tierney Sutton '86, Craig Thomas '97, Matthew Weiner 87, P'18, and Simone White '93.

For more information about the Hamilton prize, click here.