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Liberal Arts Honors

The Pinto Carver Essay Contest

Pinto Carver 2020 Essay Prompt: The Audacity of Hope

Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without words and never stops at all. - Emily Dickinson

We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope. - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man. - Friedrich Nietzsche

Everyone must dream. We dream to give ourselves hope. To stop dreaming - well, that's like saying you can never change your fate. Isn't that true? - Amy Tan, The Hundred Secret Senses


Current events are troubling to many people, regardless of their political or religious values.  There seems to be turmoil throughout the world: protests, impeachment, Brexit, climate change, refugees seeking asylum. In light of these difficult and discouraging situations, how do people maintain hope for themselves and for humanity?  Alternatively, is hope worth maintaining?

Explain your perspective, citing academic sources and examples from current events or your own life as needed to build your argument.


Eligibility:  Current Liberal Arts Honors First- and Second-year students

Specifications: 950-1000 words, titled, single-spaced. 


1st Prize: $1500

2nd Prize: $500

3rd Prize: $250

Submission Deadline:  Submit your essay through the Liberal Arts Honors scholarship portal by midnight on January 31, 2020 at midnight.