UNE announces MLK, Jr. $4,000 essay scholarship for high school students

December 19, 2013

On May 6-7, 1964, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., traveled to St. Francis College – what is now the University of New England – to speak at a civil rights symposium hosted by the college. UNE commemorates the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s historic visit to campus with a semester-long series of events in 2014, including an essay contest, $4,000 scholarship, and MLK, Jr. celebration sponsored by UNE’s College of Arts and Sciences (CAS).

The CAS event, to be held March 6, 2014, is titled, “50 Years of Progress and the Challenges That Remain.”  It will bring together the campus and local community to celebrate and showcase the work of CAS faculty and students related to issues of civil rights, equality, social change, diversity and equity.  In addition to recognizing finalists and award winners of the essay contest, the event will feature art work by UNE students and an interdisciplinary faculty panel discussing issues surrounding the essay question.

The CAS essay contest is open to high school juniors and seniors. Students should answer the following question in an essay not exceeding 700 words:

Speaking at St. Francis College on May 7, 1964, Martin Luther King, Jr., said: “Great strides have been made to extend the frontier of civil rights. Conditions are better today than they were 25 or 30 years ago, and the walls of racial segregation will gradually crumble.”

What has been the greatest stride made in civil rights since MLK spoke at St. Francis College on May 7, 1964?

All essays must be submitted electronically, in Microsoft Word or PDF format, by January 31, 2013 to bpayette@une.edu. UNE students and faculty will judge the essay on presentation, content, focus, creativity and evidence. In addition to the first-place $4,000 UNE scholarship (awarded $1,000 annually for four years at UNE), additional prizes include an iPad mini, two $75 gift certificates to Amazon.com and a $50 gift certificate to the UNE bookstore.

The 10 finalists will be recognized and the five award winners announced at the CAS 50th MLK anniversary event on March 6 in Leonard Hall on UNE’s Biddeford Campus. Finalists will be notified in late February, and the scholarship winner will read his or her essay at the March event, which is free and open to the public.

For more information about the essay contest, contact Brooks Payette by email or by phone at 207-602-2371.