CHESTERTOWN, Md. (WJZ) — It’s the nation’s top undergraduate prize, and every year, it goes to a graduating senior at a Maryland college.

As Jessica Kartalija reports, this year, the recipient is from the Eastern Shore.

At the Enoch Pratt Free Library, there are five finalists for the prestigious award named for Sophie Kerr–born and raised on the Eastern Shore, not far from Washington College.

Kerr became a prolific writer and left much of her earnings to the school, which created the Sophie Kerr Prize in her honor.

As family and friends look on, the winner of the $61,000 prize is announced. Like Kerr, Alexander Stinton grew up on the Eastern Shore in the bayfront community of Wittman, studying English and creative writing.

“For some reason, I still feel nervous. I don’t know why,” Stinton said. “But it was a huge honor to be with this group this year. Really great writers.”

Stinton tells WJZ he hoped to continue to write and eventually teach literature.

Stinton is set to graduate on Saturday. Next, he plans to go to grad school to get his masters.

Stinton says he plans to use some of the award money to take a trip to Ireland.

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