The purpose of the Allbright prize is to encourage Hamilton graduates to consider graduate studies in divinity, and subsequent training for positions as clergy or leaders in a religious institution or community. The Manley (Harley) F. Allbright Fund generates “income to be used...for graduates of the College going on to divinity school.”
Annually the Department of Religious Studies offers this award to a graduating senior or recent graduate (a Hamilton alum who has graduated within three years) who is attending graduate school in religion with the vocational intention of taking on religious leadership in a community of faith. The College Chaplain is invited to offer candidates. The award is generally understood to be in the amount of the annual yield from the fund’s endowment, typically a $4500 grant. This amount is applied directly to the recipient’s term bill at the matriculating divinity school, rabbinical school, seminary, or other graduate school offering a masters in religious studies for the purpose of leadership in a spiritual community or discipline.
During any period when the fund holds a surplus, the Religious Studies Department may exercise discretion in the following two ways: 1) a larger grant may be offered to a qualifying graduate, or 2) multiple qualifying candidates may be offered awards. Additionally an award may be made in the form of a “nomination” for the purpose of recognizing a student’s gifts and/or inclination for divinity studies, and encouraging a graduating senior who is not immediately planning to go to divinity school, to remain in touch with the department or the chaplaincy should they decide to enroll within the three years following graduation. At the point of applying to divinity school the recent alum could be considered as a candidate for the award in that year.