Ward Prize participant.

The Paul W. Ward ‘25 Memorial Prize competition recognizes annually those first-year students who are judged by the faculty to have produced outstanding essays in writing classes during that academic year.

The prize was established in 1978 by Paul W. Ward’s widow, Dorothy Cate Ward ’28, their daughter Marren Ward Meehan ’62, and their son-in-law Tom Meehan ’62. In her letter to the College Mrs. Ward wrote the following:

“This prize is offered in memory of Paul W. Ward, whose life-long career as a journalist and diplomatic reporter bought him both the Pulitzer Prize and the French Legion of Honor. During his long career he emphasized the use of basic English as a writer’s most necessary tool. Precise and exact usage of words, exact meanings, phrases expressed lucidly and gracefully, seemed to him the most direct and understandable means of communicating with his readers. We, his family, hope these beliefs and standards will furnish the criteria on which this prize will be judged.”

And so they have, every year, since 1978.

2023 Celebration and Digital Book

Join the Writing and Rhetoric Program and the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Research as we celebrate first year writers and their nominated writing on January 19, 2023 from 4:30 - 5:30, Axinn Center, Abernethy Room.

Ward Prize Celebration

Past Recipients


Middlebury faculty can nominate class of 2026 student writing through Friday June 16, 2023.

Nomination Form: Login with your Middlebury Google account to access the form.

Please help identify and encourage academic excellence by submitting a copy of your first-year students’ best papers.

Every student whose writing is submitted will be recognized at a celebration held during fall or winter term. Their writing will also be highlighted in a digital book, podcast, blog, or other student-centered publication.