Humanities Essay Contest

Dear Colleague,

Molloy College is currently soliciting submissions for our second annual Humanities Essay Scholarship Contest, and we would be thrilled if you would encourage your current students to participate.  The essay centers on "The Gods of Long Island," and asks students to creatively explore the culture and habits of Long Islanders.  Please take a look at the enclosed essay criteria and sample paragraph; feel free to use the essay as a classroom project, or simply inform your students of this educational opportunity.

Humanities Essay Scholarship ContestEnrollment Management, Public Relations, and the Humanities Division at Molloy College plan to award at least $5000 in renewable scholarships to the winning local high school students who choose to enroll in the Humanities at Molloy beginning in the Fall of 2014.  The deadline for essay submission is March 1, 2014; winners will be announced at an awards ceremony held in The Public Square on March 26, 2014.  In addition to recognizing the winners, the ceremony (open to students, family, and high school faculty) will feature several Molloy authors who will speak briefly about their latest projects, which cover topics from medieval beheadings and punk rock to Monty Python and comic books.

We are very excited about this contest and hope that you and your students will be as well.  We also hope to see you and your best and brightest at the awards ceremony in March!


A. Nicholas Fargnoli, Dean of Humanities

Scholarship and Criteria:

Molloy College is pleased to announce their Second Annual Humanities Essay Contest for students planning to start college in Fall of 2014.  Up to $5000 in scholarships will be available to those winners who attend Molloy College and major in any of the disciplines within the Division of Humanities. Humanities programs at Molloy College include: English, Spanish, Art, Music, Communications, Philosophy, Theology/Religious Studies, and Interdisciplinary Studies.

Essay Topic:

The ancient Greek philosopher Xenophanes (c. 500 BCE) once argued that "...if horses and cattle worshiped gods, they would have depicted them as horses and cattle."

Of course, the gods of humanity have appeared in many guises over the millennia: human (as Norse Thor), half-human (as Egyptian Bast), animal (as Native American Coyote), abstract (as Greek Chaos), and monstrous (as Lovecraftian Cthulhu). With this long tradition in mind, you are tasked with creating a small but organized mythic pantheon (a "family of gods") that contains no less than THREE gods and/or goddesses for Long Island (or some specific sub-culture on Long Island).  Like any good mythographer, in addition to colorfully describing your divinities, analyze the pantheon as well-suggest how each member reflects his or her worshipers' culture or values, fears or desires.

Essayists should describe their three gods and/or goddesses in detail (a paragraph for each), including appearance, sphere of influence, major attributes, and so forth.  A brief bit of insight into the personality of each god and goddess would be helpful-feel free to make up anecdotes to provide depth of character and logic. 

Finally, after describing your three gods individually, relate ONE major myth of your pantheon-tell a short story in which your gods create something (Long Island, Molloy, the beaches, traffic, etc), reward/punish believers, or somehow teach humans a lesson.

Submission Guidelines:

Successful essays will be between 750-1000 words in length. Please use the Humanities Essay Application Form for all submissions. For more information, call 516.323.3260.

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Humanities Division
1000 Hempstead Avenue Rockville Centre, New York 11571-5002