Economics Department Prizes

Hallowell Prize

Burton C. Hallowell '36 was a long-valued member of the Wesleyan economics department.  He became Executive Vice President of Wesleyan and left to become President of Tufts University in 1967. This prize is to honor an outstanding senior in the Social Sciences.  Nominations from all departments in the PAC and CSS; chosen by the PAC governing board.  Established in 1967 by gifts from friends; first awarded in 1968.

While this prize is not an Economics Department prize, it supercedes award of the Wilde prize (see below) and is considered to be the most prestigious prize in the social sciences.

2024 Hallowell Prize Recipients
Panzhi (Flora) Gu, 2024  Co-Winner
Margaret Deguet Delury, 2024 Co-Winner

Wilde Prize

In honor of Mr. Frazar B. Wilde, Chairman Emeritus of the Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (died 1985), who throughout his professional career was keenly interested in not only the highest standards of responsible professionalism in business, but also in excellence in higher education.  To be awarded yearly to a junior or senior for excellence in economics.  Established in 1963 by Mr. Wilde.

This prize is considered to be the top prize in Economics.  However, in years where the top economics student receives the Hallowell, the Wilde prize goes to the next economics student; they both generally receive White prizes as well.

2024 Wilde Prize Recipients
Kyle Martz Davies, 2024
Panzhi (Flora) Gu, 2024

White Prize

Horace White, Jr., Wesleyan '33, was an able and very promising economist who was lost in the North Atlantic during World War II.  His father, Horace White, Wesleyan '09, endowed the Horace White Fellowships and Prizes, which are awarded each year to the students who excel in economics for advanced undergraduate study in economics.  Established in 1942 and increased in 1943 by friends in his memory.

Current practice is to give the award to the top seniors and juniors, but to give a larger financial award to the seniors and to be more selective regarding junior recipients.

2024 White Prize Recipients - Seniors
Jeremy Wyatt Abraham, 2024
Kyle Martz Davies, 2024
Binh Quoc Do, 2024
Jennie Ebihara, 2024
Alexander Geula, 2024
Panzhi (Floria) Gu, 2024
Valerie (Jiaxu) Li Lee, 2024
Uriel Zvi Lurie, 2024
Xiuzhe (Kevin) Pang, 2024
Jinglei (Stella) Zhang, 2024

2024 White Prize Recipients - Juniors
Benes Babenskas, 2025
Weng-Fei (Aaron) Leong, 2025

Plukas Prize

John Plukas, Wesleyan '66, was an economics major and a recipient of a White Fellowship, and was President of Wainwright Capital at the time he set up his gift.  Established in 1986 by John Plukas.  Awarded for the first time in 1987.

This prize is given to graduating economics seniors.  It is to be applied toward summer expenses, during which period the student will work under the supervision of a faculty advisor to convert an Honor's Essay or Term Research Paper into a publishable article.  The expectation is that the article, ordinarily coauthored with the faculty member, will be submitted to an academic journal for publication and will note that support has been provided by the Plukas Prize Fund at Wesleyan.  The recipient will be chosen by the Department Faculty in Economics.  If there is no suitable candidate in a given year, the award will not be made.

Current practice is to give the prize in three installments:  A nominal amount at time of award; a larger amount a month later after receipt of a paper prospectus; the remainder in the fall after receipt of a completed paper (ready for submission to a journal).

2024 Plukas Prize Recipient
Jennie Ebihara, 2024
Panzhi (Floria) Gu, 2024

Plukas Teaching Apprentice Award

John Plukas, Wesleyan '66, was an economics major and a recipient of a White Fellowship.  Given to endow a teaching apprentice program in the Economics Department.  Established in 1986 by John Plukas.  Awarded for the first time in 1987.

Current practice is to have economics faculty nominate course assistants and teaching apprentices from the current academic year whom they have supervised and deem to have provided excellent service.

2024 Plukas Teaching Apprentice Award Recipients
Suldaan Ali, 2026
Macarena Barrio, 2024
Sonia Guan, 2024
Abhinav (Abhu) Gupta, 2025
Thomas Kan, 2025
Lucas Priner, 2024
Kaustubh Vasudevan, 2026
Putt Watcharapong, 2025
Justin Weinstein, 2025
Jack Wemmlinger, 2024 

Lebergott-Lovell Prize

In honor of Emeritus Professors of Economics Stanley Lebergott and Michael Lovell. To be awarded to the best paper written in the current academic year that uses econometric techniques to analyze an economic problem. Established in 2011 by Bruce Greenwald; first awarded in 2012.

Lebergott-Lovell Prize, 2023
Flora Gu, 2024 

Honorable Mention
Rose Merjos, 2023
Henry Ticknor, 2024