Lincoln contests seek entries

Lincoln contests seek entries

February 1, 2017

Some would argue that what Abraham Lincoln is most remembered for is his signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.  The document may have had a limited direct impact on the lives of many slaves, but it was a watershed moment in stating that previously bound people shall be “forever free” (Emancipation Proclamation, paragraph 2). To emancipate commonly means to free from bondage, oppression, or restraint.  This year’s Lincoln contests prompt asks students to choose one of the following possibilities and develop it into an essay:

  • Choose another emancipatory moment in Lincoln’s life and write about it, incorporating source material.
  • Choose an emancipatory moment in someone’s life and, incorporating source material, write about it.

Fred & Ethel Schwengel established the Lincoln Contests in art, essay, and oratory to pay tribute to Abraham Lincoln. This semester the collegiate essays will be judged by Professor Monica Barron and the speeches and art by Professor Barry Poyner.

By Feb. 28, submit a 1000-1500 word, 3-5 page essay in response to the prompt to Barry Poyner, Barnett Hall 1110. Provide a list of “works cited” as appropriate. On a cover sheet, provide contact information, and clearly indicate if entering the essay or oratorical contest, or both. Finalists in the Oratorical Contest will deliver their speeches before the National Communication Association Student Club later in the semester. Communication Club members will assist Dr. Poyner in judging. Essay and Oratory Prizes for 1st and 2nd places will be $200.00 and $100.00, respectively.

For the art contest, entries should be also submitted to Professor Poyner by Feb. 28.  Create a faux poster promoting a “Live” Presidential speech from President Lincoln announcing the Emancipation Proclamation to the nation. What would this poster look like in today’s visual aesthetic, or how would have looked in the 1860s? What message/concept in the design would speak to a broad audience or to a very targeted audience?  Alternatively, create a faux poster on behalf of a social movement advancing or celebrating emancipation.

Winning art will be added to the Schwengel Lincoln Collection in Special Collections at Pickler Memorial Library. Art Prizes for 1st and 2nd places will be $200.00 and $100.00, respectively.

For more contest information, contact Dr. Poynter at

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