Eakin Fellowships

Eakin Fellowships

Mrs. Frances Eakin established the Frank E. Eakin Jr. Fund in 2021 to honor her husband’s six-decade career at the University of Richmond, his contributions to the Department of Religious Studies, his passion for teaching, and his dedication to students. The fund supports the Frank E. Eakin Jr. Fellowships program, which provides financial support for UR students engaged in research, fieldwork, travel, and other experiences that enhance their coursework in the academic study of religion.

23-24 Fellows

Inaugural Class of Eakin Fellows Announced

The Department of Religious Studies is delighted to announce our first class of Eakin Fellows! Congratulations to Liyan Liu, Matt Rooney, Dalin Sao, and Lillian Tzanev!

Applying for an Eakin Fellowship

Eakin Fellows will receive special funding to pursue the academic study of religion beyond the classroom through research, travel, fieldwork, internships, conferences, and other educational experiences.

Applications will be accepted in the spring semester. Eligible students will have completed a minimum of two classes with the Department of Religious Studies and will be asked to submit a short proposal of how the Eakin Fellowship can enrich their study of religion. 

Want to brainstorm some ideas? We’d love to talk!

Stephanie Cobb

Scott Davis

Jane Geaney

Mimi Hanaoka

Doug Winiarski

  • Examples

    Interested but not sure where to start? We have created some examples of how a student might enrich their study of religion through becoming an Eakin Scholar. Click through these examples for inspiration!


  • Research Archives
    Fascinated by the non-binary Publick Universal Friend after taking Sex & Salvation in Nineteenth-Century America (RELG 210)? Conduct research at the Yates County History Center, which preserves the Friend’s portrait, wide-brimmed hat, carriage, and a wide range of historical manuscripts documenting their communal settlement in Upstate New York.
  • Fieldwork
    Interested in learning more about biblical history in context? Join an archaeological dig!
  • Academic Conferences
    Come watch scholars at work at the 2023 Society of Biblical Literature/ American Academy of Religion (AAR) Conference in San Antonio.
  • Fellowship Projects & Internships
  • Study Abroad
    • Captivated by J. R. R. Tolkien & the Medieval Imagination (FYS 100)? Schedule visits to Bodleian Library and The Tolkien Society in Oxford while studying abroad in England, tour iconic LOTR film locations in New Zealand, or head out to Marquette University once you return to the U.S.

    • Intrigued by Body/Sex in World Religious Literature (RELG 205)? See the prehistoric masterpieces in the caves at Lascaux in France that inspired Georges Bataille’s theories about the origins of religion.
  • Museums & Religious Sites
    • Studied Islam in America (RELG 294)? Explore Muhammad Ali’s journey and his experience with Islam at the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, KY.
    • Interested in learning more about Native American Religions (RELG 257)? Plan a spring break camping trip to the Great Gallery in Utah, the most astonishing indigenous rock art site in North America!
Dr. Frank E. Eakin Jr.

Dr. Frank Eakin

A graduate of the University of Richmond (’58), Dr. Eakin joined the Department of Religious Studies in 1966 after receiving his Ph.D. from Duke University. He published five books and numerous articles in leading academic journals during his distinguished career. Under his steady leadership and forward-looking vision as chair, the Department of Religious Studies shifted from an emphasis on Christian theological studies to focus on the academic study of religion as a humanistic discipline. Dr. Eakin was a legendary professor, beloved by countless students for his caring teaching style, effective mentorship, and unswerving commitment to respectful interreligious dialogue. He remains the longest-tenured faculty member in the University’s history.

To make a gift online, click the button to the side, enter “Eakin” in the Search Funds field and select The Frank E. Eakin Jr. Fund in the drop down menu.