The 2021 Grawemeyer Award winners
The 2021 Grawemeyer Award winners

Same tradition, new format.

That’s the recipe for the 2021 Grawemeyer Awards celebration, set for 7 p.m., Thursday, April 15. Usually held as a gala banquet, the 2021 celebration will be livestreamed via

Announced in December 2019, the Grawemeyer Award winners for 2020 are being honored in 2021 following the cancellation of their award banquet last year. Because of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the winners will be honored in a remote ceremony that will give them the opportunity to discuss the work that led to their awards.

By creating these awards, UofL alumnus H. Charles Grawemeyer found a way to inspire, honor and nurture achievements in music composition, education, religion, psychology and ideas improving world order. 

The livestreamed event will be hosted by UofL Grawemeyer Award Director Charles Leonard and will feature recorded remarks from UofL President Neeli Bendapudi and Louisville Seminary President Alton Pollard III. The seminary co-presents the award in religion with UofL.

Speaking live will be the 2021 winners:

  • Lei Liang, a San Diego composer who won the music composition award for his orchestral work evoking the threat climate change poses to humanity
  • Ken Conca, an American University professor who won the world order award for his book challenging the United Nations to rethink how it handles environmental problems
  • Robert Plomin, a King’s College, London, behavioral geneticist, who won the psychology award for explaining how DNA influences how we work with the world around us
  • Sarah Fine and Jal Mehta, of Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education and High Tech High Graduate School of Education, which is linked with a network of diverse charter schools in San Diego, respectively, who co-won the education award for their study of how to encourage deeper learning in U.S. high schools
  • Stephen J. Patterson, a Willamette University professor who won the religion award for showing how an early Christian creed urging human solidarity applies in modern life

For additional information, visit the Grawemeyer Awards website.