Loyola University Chicago

Department of History

McCluggage Award Competition

Robert McCluggage Photo


In memory of Professor Robert McCluggage, the Department of History voted in 1989 to establish an award for the best research paper by a graduate student in each calendar year. Professor McCluggage was a member of the Department from 1953 to 1987 and its chairman from 1973 to 1979. Throughout his career he consistently promoted graduate education, supervising a total of ten doctoral theses and serving for nine years as the chairman of a national master's essay competition sponsored by Loyola. As both a scholar and a teacher, Professor McCluggage exhibited and encouraged a breadth of interest and an openness to new areas of history, including Indian history, environmental history, the history of material culture and public history, when each of these fields was in its infancy. Among many accomplishments of his chairmanship, perhaps the most significant was the establishment of the Program in Public History at Loyola.

Robert McCluggage died in May 1989 while attempting to save his son, Stephen, from a fire in their home. His scholarly achievements, his care and concern as a teacher, and the selflessness of his death have set an example of altruism which we are proud to honor.


2024 McCluggage Award

Hannah Fuller, for the essay:
"Only in the Big City: Isolation, Rurality, and Leisure in Lesbian Chicago, 1971-1996."


2025 Submissions

The 2024 submission deadline has passed. The 2025 submission deadline will be posted here in the Spring 2025 semester.


  1. Any current graduate student in History at Loyola University Chicago is eligible to enter the competition.
  2. The entry must be an essay based on research in primary sources, able to stand on its own as work treating a coherent topic.  Students may submit a paper from Loyola courses completed in the calendar year prior to the competition deadline.  A Loyola master’s essay also qualifies for consideration, provided that it was completed during the calendar year prior to the competition.  Entrants are limited to one submission each year.
  3. Entries will be judged on the basis of originality of research, depth of analysis and clarity of presentation.

The name of each year's winner will be engraved on a plaque to be hung in the Department. The winner also receives a cash prize.

For further information, please contact Dr. Patricia Mooney-Melvin at pmooney@luc.edu.

This award is co-sponsored by the Department of History and the History Graduate Program.

A list of past winners can be found here.