Centennial Contest

The AAUP Foundation’s Centennial Committee is holding a student contest to raise awareness about academic freedom and the AAUP. Rev. Frank Haig, SJ, a member of the Centennial Committee, announced the contest in the following letter:

What is the significance of one hundred years? For a snow-covered, majestic mountain range, not much. And for the crashing waves of a tumultuous sea? Again, a mere moment, like all the others in the grand scheme of nature, for there is so much time ahead. Yet the significance defined in human terms becomes a lifetime of triumphs and failures filled with richness and shadows and splashes of brilliant light. So, too, for the American Association of University Professors: one hundred years filled with decades of successes along with times of missed opportunities, periods of inaction amid moments of glory.

The year 2015 marks the centennial of the AAUP, a nonprofit organization committed to advancing academic freedom and shared governance; defining fundamental professional values and standards for higher education; promoting the economic security of faculty, academic professionals, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and all those engaged in teaching and research in higher education; helping the higher education community organize to make our goals a reality; and ensuring higher education’s contribution to the common good. The upcoming centennial is an opportunity to educate, challenge, and inspire colleagues from across the country to become part of a celebratory project that helps to define the first hundred years of the AAUP as well as a vision for the future.

As part of this celebration, the AAUP Foundation’s Centennial Committee is pleased to announce competitions for undergraduates and graduate students for essays and artwork. The theme of both competitions is “Academic Freedom: Its Concept, Its History, Its Successes, and Its Failures.” The Centennial Committee will coordinate the judging. In both categories and at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, prizes of $1,000 will be awarded. The awards are made possible by a grant from the late Patricia Fox Haig, widow of one time US secretary of state Alexander Meigs Haig Jr.

—Rev. Frank R. Haig, SJ

Contest Rules

The centennial contest is open to all students enrolled at accredited institutions of higher education in the United States. There will be separate competitions for essays and art, and separate awards will be given to undergraduates and graduate students. The winners in each of these four categories—undergraduate student essay, graduate student essay, undergraduate student art, and graduate student art—will receive prizes of $1,000. 

All submissions must address the theme “Academic Freedom: Its Concept, Its History, Its Successes, and Its Failures.” Submissions must be sent to centennialcontest@aaupfoundation.org by midnight (EST) on January 15, 2015. Up to two entries may be made by any one student. All entries must include the student’s full name, mailing address, and e-mail address as well as the name of the institution at which he or she is currently enrolled and the category (undergraduate or graduate student) of the entry. By submitting an essay or work of art, the student agrees that the work may be published if it is selected for an award and that the student will not be separately compensated for publication.

In addition, the following specific rules apply:

Essay Contest

  • Essays should be five pages in length and double-spaced, with pages numbered.
  • Essays must be submitted in English.
  • Essays submitted should not have been previously published in any form.

Art Contest

  • One or more photographs of the artwork are to be submitted by e-mail in JPEG format. The original art should not be submitted; submissions sent by mail will not be returned.
  • Works of art must be created by the student specifically for the academic freedom contest and should not have been previously published or exhibited elsewhere.

Uncertainties or confusion about these rules will be clarified by the AAUP Foundation’s Centennial Committee. Submissions will be judged on their merit and on how well they illuminate the aspect of academic freedom being treated, and winners will be announced at the AAUP’s June 2015 annual meeting. Eligibility will be determined by student status at the time of submission. The judges reserve the right to decide against making an award in any contest category on the basis of the quality of the entries received.

Help the AAUP Foundation publicize the centennial contest by discussing academic freedom with your students and posting a black and white flyer or a color flyer on your campus.