November 13, 1998

Middlebury College Announces 1998 Recipients of the 20th Annual Ward Prize in Writing for First-Year Students

Three Students Also Receive Honorable Mention

The 20th annual Paul W. Ward '25 Memorial Prize in Writing for first-year students at Middlebury College was awarded this year to first-place winner Daniel Xavier Choi of Auburndale, N.Y., for his essay "The Joy and Pain of Knowledge." The $500 prize is presented annually to the first-year student whose writing best exemplifies, in the words of the bequest, "The use of basic English as the writer's most necessary tool: precise and exact usage of words, exact meanings, phrases expressed lucidly and gracefully."

Choi wrote his paper, which explored several philosophers' views on knowledge, including those of Socrates and Nietzche, for instructor Martha Woodruff's seminar "Ancient Greek Philosophy and Poetry."

This year the prize was expanded to include two runners up, each of whom received $250-Kris Anderson of Portland, Ore., for her paper "Everything Changes," and Sofi Hall of Saugerties, N.Y., for her paper "The Apple of Knowledge."

The Paul W. Ward '25 Memorial Prize was established by Ward's widow, Dorothy Cate Ward '28, in 1978. Ward, who won a Pulitzer Prize and received the French Legion of Honor, enjoyed a life-long career as a journalist and diplomatic reporter. The award is sponsored by Tom and Marren Meehan of Bethesda, Md. Mrs. Meehan is the daughter of Dorothy Cate Ward.

In presenting the awards, Mary Ellen Bertolini of the English department noted that she was especially impressed this year with the range of interests the students' writing represented. "It's especially gratifying," she said, "because when Middlebury College committed itself to requiring writing in courses throughout the curriculum, and not only in English courses, we committed ourselves to an idea about the place of writing in a liberal arts education."

Receiving honorable mention for the Ward Memorial Prize in Writing were Laurel Cadwallader of Kingsport, Tenn., for her paper "Do Dreams Come True?;" Zach Robert of Littleton, Colo., for his paper "Disobedience: A Commentary on Plato's Crito;" and Julie Russell of Pittsford, N.Y., for her paper "Variations of Affection: Three Looks at Jane Austen's Mr. Knightley."