LCU student awarded Phi Alpha Theta’s Hanger Prize

Laura Aime, a senior history major, of Baton Rouge, has been awarded this year’s Kimberly S. Hanger Prize at the Phi Alpha Theta Regional History Conference.

Aime, along with a student from Loyola University, each received the honor of having the best undergraduate history papers submitted to the conference, held on March 22 in New Orleans.

Aime’s paper was titled “Reaching the Hearts and Minds of the American Colonists: American Clergy, Their Sermons, and the American Revolution.” In the paper, she analyzed numerous 18th-century sermons, arguing that pastors were a potent force in persuading their congregants to support the Patriot cause by drawing parallels between biblical texts and the American fight for liberty from British tyranny in their sermons.

“It was such an honor to be recognized as a co-winner for the Kimberly S. Hanger prize this year,” Aime said. “I am thankful for the opportunity to represent LCU at the meeting and to meet professionals in the history field, as well as other students.”

Aime said she has always been interested in how Christianity influenced the past, and discussing the American Revolution in Dr. Scott Pickard’s Early Republic class, she became curious about how Christianity had influenced the colonists during the conflict.

“While researching this topic, I found a fascinating source titled ‘Dialogue with the Devil’ that consists of a fictional conversation between King George III and the devil in which the king claims to be the ‘most loyal servant’ of the devil,” Aime said. “After I found this source, I became even more curious about the impact of religious rhetoric on the revolution, and this interest ultimately became the paper I submitted for the conference.”

“The faculty from the Department of History and Political Science are incredibly proud of the research that Laura has done,” said Dr. Christine Reese, dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.

This is the second year in a row that a student from LCU was a winner of the Hanger Prize.



Media Release | April 11, 2024 | Pineville, Louisiana
Contact: Dr. Elizabeth B. Clarke, Director of University Communications |