The Alec Award

The Alec Award

The Alec Award, given in memory of Evan Alexander Johnson ’97, honors a senior member of Eta Sigma Phi, the national Classics honor society, who has a gentle and humble heart and is dedicated to serving others in a kind, compassionate, and Christ-like way.

Evan Alexander Johnson (1974-2014), a Wisconsin native, took Greek at St. Olaf and graduated summa cum laude in 1997 with a Mathematics major. After a few years spent as a high-school teacher and software developer, he went on to graduate school at UW-Madison, earning a Ph.D. in Mathematics in 2011. At the time of his death he was doing postdoctoral research in astrophysics at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, using computer modeling to predict the timing of solar flares and their effect on the power grid, computers, and satellites. A dedicated servant of the poor, he gave away most of his income; he had a special interest in Uganda, where he funded scholarships for needy children, established school gardens and tree nurseries, and promoted sustainable farming.

Winner of the Alec Award for 2018 is Dylan K. Walker ’18, a Classics major with concentrations in Film Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies, from Mountain Grove, Missouri. Dylan is the prytanis (president) of St. Olaf’s chapter of Eta Sigma Phi, the Classics honor society, and attended the national convention in Ann Arbor last spring. He performed the role of the snarky slave Daos in the 2018 St. Olaf production of Menander’s Dyskolos. When not giving a Chapel talk or putting the finishing touches on one of his documentary films, he serves as Co-Coordinator of GLOW and as Multimedia Director for the Manitou Messenger.

Jeremiah Harrelson and his family were able to come to campus to present the award (a certificate and check for $100) to Dylan at the Classics Conversation Table on April 16, 2018.

Previous Winners of the Alec Award

2017: Katherine (Kate) A. Bello ’17 (Latin, Medieval Studies, and English major), Mission Hills, KS

2016: Leif D. McLellan ’16 (Classics and Ancient Studies major), Shoreview, MN