News & Events

Students Win Presidential Essay Contest

Essay Winners
President Dan Lunsford (left) poses with winners of the first Mars Hill University Presidential Student Essay Contest: (l-r) Shelby Johnson, Erin Francey, and India Ellis.

Three students at Mars Hill University have received recognition and cash prizes for having won the university’s first Presidential Student Essay contest.

Students were asked to write an essay on the topic, “The Most Influential Leader of the 20th Century.” Shelby Johnson, a senior from Glenville, NC, won first place, and a $1,000 cash award, with her essay about civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. Erin Francey, a freshman from Stanley, NC, won second place and a $50 gift card to the MHU bookstore with her essay about primatologist and animal rights activist Jane Goodall. India Ellis, a senior from Spruce Pine, NC, won third place and a $50 gift card to the MHU bookstore, with her essay about Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

“The Presidential Essay contest was an initiative to recognize and reward good writing as fundamental to high academic standards across the curriculum,” said Mars Hill University President Dan Lunsford. “It is one of many initiatives begun in this first year of the institution’s history as a university, to both practically and symbolically reinforce and strengthen our culture of academic excellence.”

According to Lunsford, the contest is planned to be an annual event.