The Arnold Franco Prize for Writing in History
Thanks to a generous donation by alumnus Arnold Franco
(class of 1943), the History Department at Queens College is able to award an
annual prize in his name to the best example of historical writing by a student
for a given academic year.
The requirements for a paper to be considered are few: 1) it
must be submitted to the chair of the department by October 1, and 2) it must
have been originally written as part of a History class at the college in the prior
fall or spring semesters. Revised and
edited versions of course papers are permissible and are, in fact, encouraged. There are no length requirements, and students
may submit more than one paper. Both
majors and non-majors are eligible, as are Master’s students.
Winning paper(s) are selected by a committee of faculty
members in the History Department. In
order to receive the award, the student is required to attend a luncheon in
his/her honor, which usually takes place in late October or early November.
About Arnold Franco
Arnold Franco graduated from Queens College in 1943 in the
midst of World War Two.
Owing to his expertise in languages, he was
chosen to serve in a code-breaking division of U.S. military intelligence in
England during the height of the war. He
was later stationed in Paris following its liberation and continued his work in
radio communications for the military (at a time when the Eiffel Tower itself
was put into service as an antenna!).
Mr. Franco has written a book about his experiences in the War titled Code to Victory: Coming of Age in WWII,
which is available in the Queens College library.
Back from Europe, Mr. Franco built a successful business in
Manhattan, but he didn’t forget his alma mater in Queens.
In addition to establishing the fund from
which this prize is drawn, he has supported various other initiatives that
engage History students in active research.
For example in 2006, he commissioned the research, design, and
construction for a memorial to Queens College students who died in World War
Two, which now stands at the base of the flagpole at the top of the quad, overlooking
the same stunning view of the city that he used to admire as a student