George Gilkey - Special Collections Research Scholarship

Murphy Library Staff established this scholarship in 2014 to honor the generosity of George Gilkey, UW-La Crosse professor emeritus in history. Gilkey began his teaching career in 1954 at what was then the Wisconsin State College-La Crosse and served as chair of the History Department from 1960-1970. In 1965, he was the faculty sponsor instrumental in the creation of the Area Research Center within Murphy Library Special Collections. In honor of his many contributions to Murphy Library, he received the Eugene W. Murphy Library Special Recognition Award in 1988.

In his final act of generosity to Murphy Library, Gilkey made a bequest to Special Collections that is the largest single donation ever made to Special Collections. With that bequest, plus additional funding from the Murphy Library Endowment Fund, the George Gilkey - Special Collections Research Scholarship Fund was established honoring the student who wrote the best paper using primary materials found in the Special Collections and Area Research Center and/or the Murphy Library Digital Collections.

To apply, visit the George Gilkey Special Collections Research Scholarship section of the UWL Foundation Scholarships website and Sign In using your UWL NetID. 

Award Recipients

2021-2022 award:

1st place: DeChambeau, Brittney, "A Disease That Paralyzed a Nation: Wisconsin’s Responses to the Polio Epidemic."

2020-2021 award:

1st place: Kracht, Jasen, “Robert Cowie: Champion of the People.” 

2nd place: Eagon, Gabriel, “Crime and Sources in La Crosse: What Court Documents and Newspapers from 1906 can tell us about Crime in La Crosse.” 

2019-2020 award:

1st place: Freihammer, Karlee, “Pornography: A Battle Over Censorship.

2nd place tie: Eagon, Gabriel, “The Decline of the German Language in La Crosse’s Early 20th Century Catholic German American Community.” 

2nd place tie: DeChambeau, Brittney, “Firsthand Experience with Native Americans in the La Crosse Area.” 

2018-2019 award:

1st place: Thompson, Kimberly, “Not Norwegian, Not American: The Norwegian-American Community of La Crosse, 1850-1900."

2nd place: Olson, Tim, “Orlando S. Jones: Pioneer Farmer Extraordinaire."

3rd place: Brick, Jordan, “The History Behind the Mission: From Normal School to University."

2017-2018 award:

1st place: Bain, Rebekah, Language and Identity: Transition from German to English in La Crosse, Wisconsin.” 

2nd place: Lichtfuss, Erika, “Demographics Unearthed: Social Constructs Recreated in Oak Grove Cemetery."

2016-2017 award:

Taylor Zanotti, "Racial Mascots: Honorable of Hurtful?"

2015-2016 award:

Reece Ebert, "Syrian Migration to La Crosse."