The Center for the Study of American Democracy is currently seeking submissions for the George Gund Prize. The deadline is midnight, Wednesday, February 20, 2019.
The George Gund Award is a $2,500 cash prize awarded annually at Honors Day for an exceptional essay that examines the American form of republican government as set forth in the United States Constitution.
In Federalist 51 (1788), James Madison warned:
"If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions."
This year, the Center for the Study of American Democracy invites essays that consider American democracy today, in light of James Madison’s observation during the American Founding 230 years ago. Essays may address Madison’s observation in myriad ways, considering questions such as:
Contest rules and judging considerations
The Gund Prize competition is open to any currently enrolled Kenyon student who has not previously won this contest.
Essay writers may not seek assistance from parents, professors, or off-campus mentors. CSAD screens essays with Turnitin.com to assure intellectual integrity. The faculty panel of judges uses a blind review process, identifying the writer only after determining the winning essay. Therefore, your essay should not have your name on the title page nor on headers. Submit your essay as a Word attachment to an email and put your name in the message line.
The judges look for essays that are analytical, original, focused, and well informed. Writers should avoid platitudes, abstractions, partisanship, polemics, or speculation. The essay should be current, yet have enduring value. While not a research paper, the essay should be composed in a formal third-person style and follow standard procedures for scholarly documentation. A previously written course paper could well serve as a starting point for the essay, with revisions made to address this prompt.
The essay should have between 1,000 and 1,500 elegantly composed words and include a title. Your name should not appear on any page.
Submit essay by email, as an MS Word attachment with no identifying information. The message subject line should be: Gund Essay -- and your first and last name.
Email it to: email@example.com by midnight, February 20, 2019.
The George Gund Prize was created in 1952 by George Gund Honorary degree of 1950, longtime trustee of the College, chair of the Finance Committee, father of Graham Gund, '63 and former chair of the Cleveland Trust Company.