King Encourages Pirates to Dream Big

By Steven Jones

Before graduating Southwestern University in 1993, W. Joseph “Joey” King devised a project for analyzing people’s facial expressions while they interacted with computers. His project, funded by a variety of supporters, became the springboard for his career. needs better transition about how/why he started the fund here if info available

For over a decade, the King Creativity Fund has enabled students to pursue their own creative projects. This year’s proposals for the King Creativity Fund are due two weeks from today.

“I think that Southwestern has an abundance of 19 year-olds with really new ideas and true vision,” King said. “That is what the Fund is designed to support.”

Any number of projects can be approved, depending on the number of submissions and the budgets of each respective project. The program centers on enabling students to work with ideas and tools they wouldn’t have otherwise as they pursue their own interests. Grants range in size from several hundred to several thousand dollars.

A board comprised of previous King Scholars, faculty and an administrative advisor awards multiple grants to Southwestern students every year. Among other things, the selection committee considers the feasibility of the project, the merits of the students proposing it and the proposal itself.

Proposals must be submitted as Word documents via email to, complete with a sponsor’s electronic signature, by 5:00 p.m. on October 12. King Scholars will be notified shortly after submissions close.

Projects funded in the past include a comedic media conglomerate (“Laughingstock Productions,” 2000-2001), a study of executive function and Autism during the 2005-2006 academic year and a steel pan ensemble in 2009-2010.

Students who are awarded funding may complete their projects on or off campus, but must present a report on their works to the committee and present the project at the annual King Creativity Award program and banquet. Materials are available through the King Creativity Fund link on the Southwestern University website.

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