Essay contest open to students writing about ethical values

December 02, 2014

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Any Penn State undergraduate student interested in exploring and writing about ethical values and intercultural issues can enter the second annual Collegiate Laws of Life Essay Contest, sponsored by The Paterno Fellows Program in the College of the Liberal Arts.

The contest is open to all full-time baccalaureate students who are enrolled at any Penn State campus for at least one semester of the 2014-15 academic year. Essays should be no longer than 800 words and will be judged on originality, relevance and creativity.

Participating students must select one of the following prompts for their essays:

-- “All mankind is divided into three classes: those that are immovable, those that are movable and those that move.” -- Benjamin Franklin

What are the differences among these three, and how can they best collaborate?

-- “The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is in extending our commercial relations to have as little political connection as possible. ... It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world.” -- George Washington

How should we understand this historical legacy? Do you think that the United States should continue to foster democracy across the world? Why or why not?

-- “Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” -- Charles William Eliot

What is your favorite book, and how has it changed your world view or impacted the way you live your life?

Winners will receive $500 for first place, $400 for second place and $300 for third place. All winners will be acknowledged at the annual Paterno Fellows Recognition Ceremony on Jan. 28. Their essays will be published on Liberal Arts Voices.

The deadline is Jan. 16 and submissions can be uploaded at

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Last Updated December 05, 2014