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Philip L. Carret Thomas Jefferson Essay Competition

This is a guide to the Philip L. Carret Thomas Jefferson Essay Competition. The essay competition was endowed in 1997 and was designed to have students reflect on the principles and ideals in Thomas Jefferson's life and career.

2023 Carret Essay Prompt

Much as the Jefferson statue has been recontextualized from a seat of government to a site of historical commemoration, recent Carret contests have attempted to reconceptualize Jefferson’s legacy within the bounds of the endowment’s requirements. Is recontextualization sufficient in challenging harmful historical legacies, and what is the value and/or potential harm in continuing to focus attention on Jefferson?

2023 Essay Winners

1st Place Winner Caroline DiFrango "Down Monument Avenue"
2nd Place Winner Foster Davis "The God Whom You and I Adore"
3rd Place Winner (tied) Claire E. Lancaster "Recontextualizing and Reclaiming Jefferson: Why We Must Confront His Legacy"
3rd Place Winner (tied) Delaney Guidi "An Old Statue's Statute of Limitations"