Hobson Lecture & Prize

Welcome to the Hobson Lecture and Prize

The Mary Frances Hobson Lecture and Prize for Distinguished Achievement in Arts and Letters is awarded annually by Chowan University to recognize the distinguished achievement of a person in the field of arts and letters.  Preference is given to Southern writers and poets or those authors whose work relates to the South.  The recipient, who receives a medallion and monetary gift, presents a lecture entitled “The Mary Frances Hobson Lecture,” which is open to all area residents, Chowan University students and personnel, and all enthusiasts of the arts and letters in the region.  

The Mary Frances Hobson Prize, which is endowed by the Hobson Family Foundation, was initiated in 1995 as a memorial to Mary Frances Hobson, a journalist and poet.  Mrs. Hobson was the first woman to receive the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award in journalism from the University of North Carolina.  A native of North Carolina (1912-1993), Mrs. Hobson always treasured her relationship to Chowan University through her aunt, Lois Vann Wynn, who was a graduate of Chowan in the Class of 1905 and a member of the faculty from 1908-1915. 

The Hobson Prize has grown in stature to become a highly coveted honor.  Recipients include well-known and established authors as well as rising literary stars.  Chowan University is honored to be the home of the Hobson Prize where it holds a significant place in the academic program.  

2015 Hobson Prize

The 2015 Mary Frances Hobson Prize was awarded to Dorothy Allison.

Previously honored recipients

Sharyn McCrumb (2014)

Joseph Bathanti (2013)

Silas House (2012)

Robert Morgan (2011)

Lee Smith (2010)

Darnell Arnoult (2009)

Judy Goldman (2008)

Josephine Humphreys (2007)

Michael Parker (2006)

Shelia P. Moses (2005)

Chuck Sullivan (2004)

Sheri Reynolds (2003)

Padgett Powell (2002)

Allan Gurganus (2001)

Amy Hempel (2000)

G.D. Gearino (1999)

Randall Kenan (1998)

Jill McCorkle (1997)

Mark Richard (1996)

Kaye Gibbons (1995)