The Wegs Prize
The J. Robert Wegs Prize for Best Minor in European Studies Capstone Essay
All essays must be submitted by a registered Minor in European Studies in fulfillment of the European Area Studies Essay Requirement. Note that students who declared the minor after fall 2021 are not required to write a capstone essay, but may choose to replace one 3.0 credit MESE elective with an independent research project similar to the capstone essay.
All essays submitted in fulfillment of this requirement each academic year will be considered for the award, whether written in the Fall or Spring semester. Essays written in a European language other than English will also be considered.
Essays will be judged on the quality of both the student’s research and writing.
The J. Robert Wegs Prize is awarded to the Minor in European Studies who authors the best essay written in fulfillment of the capstone essay requirements for the minor. This prize carries a $250 award. The prize is named in honor of J. Robert Wegs (1937-2010), founding Director of the Nanovic Institute for European Studies who served until 2002. One of his contributions to the Nanovic Institute was the development of the Minor in European Studies.
J. Robert Wegs, founding Director
Nanovic Institute for European Studies
Paul W. Schroeder, Professor Emeritus of History and Political Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, described Wegs as “one of the most self-motivated, self-directing, hard-working, disciplined, and goal-centered scholars I have ever met. He set himself a goal, knew or carefully found out how to go about reaching it, and never wavered from it until it was achieved, and achieved well.”
A popular and sought-after lecturer, Wegs accompanied a Notre Dame-sponsored cruise on the Danube River in the early 1990s, giving daily talks on the history and culture of the region. Among the passengers were a 1954 Notre Dame alumnus, Robert Nanovic, and his wife, Elizabeth. Impressed, the Nanovics endowed a lecture series on European issues, which evolved into the Nanovic Institute for European Studies through the vision of Bob Wegs and the generosity of the Nanovics.
A. James McAdams, William M. Scholl Professor of International Affairs and former director of the Nanovic Institute explained, “The Nanovic Institute would never have come into being without Bob’s vision and inspired leadership. He recognized Notre Dame’s great potential in European studies and made it possible for the Institute to become what it is today.”
Maria Camila Rolon
Lauren Ann Dunn