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Lowell Ensel Endowed Keystone Prize

Lowell Ensel had many passions, but perhaps primary among them were social justice, filmmaking and friendship. His short films from middle school onward — nearly all he wrote, shot, directed, and edited — take a tolerant, if sometimes amused, look at the human condition and feature universally flawed characters without resorting to mere stereotypes. The almost feature-length film “In the Midterm” that won him the University of Maryland Honors Humanities Keystone Prize follows a group of college friends who support each other, expressing Lowell’s valuation of friendship and what makes us human.

The loss of all the stories he could have told, compounded by the personal loss felt by so many who knew him, is beyond remedy. His sudden death at 20 in May 2015 from undetected testicular cancer that should have been treatable adds yet another layer of sadness to this tragic waste. The Lowell Ensel Endowed Keystone Prize honors and celebrates the scholarship and creativity Lowell brought to his work, and recognizes students who exhibit these qualities and passions in the creation of their Keystone project or future academic equivalent, giving a jumpstart to worthy successors.

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