Great Seal Writing Contest Winners


On behalf of the Office of the President, the Howe Writing Center, and all those involved with the creation of the Great Seal Book, we thank Miami students who submitted and all those who voted for your favorite entry for helping to make Miami history.

In March 2013 President Hodge invited the Miami student body to mark the opening of the Armstrong Student Center by helping to write a piece of Miami history. By submitting an entry to the Great Seal Writing Contest this spring, Miami students literally were able to “write” the book that will be housed within the Great Seal in the new Bicentennial Rotunda. (See an artist’s rendering of the ASC Great Seal and full contest description here).

Of the 84 total entries in the contest, 12 finalists (3 from each class) were selected by a committee of Miami faculty, staff, and students, with all names and identifying information removed so that the selection was completely anonymous. Top essays from each class were voted on from among the finalists (also on an anonymous basis) by Miami students the week of April 26, 2013, and the Grand Prize winner was selected by the awards committee from among the 12 finalists.

We’re proud to announce the 5 winners, with their entry, below:

Top Prize, First Years: Michelle Johnston: “With Love and Honor”
Top Prize, Sophomores: Laura Hower: “Obstinate Motion”
Top Prize, Juniors: Laura Dewire: “Where We Love is Home”
Top Prize, Seniors: Olivia Kerrigan: “Our Legacy”

Grand Prize Winner: Amanda Hancock, Sophomore: “We, On a Path to Wisdom”

The Awards are as follows

  • Grand Prize: $2,000 cash + the winning essay will be printed on the open page in the book
  • $1,000 for best essay for each of the other three classes (first year through senior)
  • Other submissions will make up the remaining pages of the book

The Next Steps
: Now that the winners have been selected, the Great Seal Book will be produced–entirely by Miami students. Two students from the Architecture and Interior Design Department, Sophia and Madelyn Delgado, were selected to create the artwork for the book after a competitive process, and students from Miami’s Paper Science and Engineering Foundation will make the paper for the book. The Great Seal Book will be unveiled at the Armstrong Student Center grand opening in Spring, 2014, and commemorative versions of the book will be available to the Miami community at that time.

Please direct questions and requests for more information to Lisa Blankenship, Associate Director, Howe Writing Center.