December 14, 2017 – Bryan College’s admissions department has officially announced the winner of the Great Commoner Essay Competition: Laurel McLaughlin.
The Great Commoner Essay Competition is held as part of the invitation-only Bryan College Scholarship Weekend. Prospective students from all over the country convene on Bryan’s Dayton campus to see the college for themselves and to compete for valuable scholarship opportunities. One of these opportunities comes through an essay that interested students are required to write on campus during the weekend. According to the admissions webpage, “Students participating in this competition will receive an essay prompt developed by Bryan College faculty and have two hours to develop and complete their essay response.” The essay topic is kept secret until writing time comes, making this a true test of skill and clear thinking.
And the prize? A full-tuition scholarship to Bryan College.
This year’s winner is Laurel McLaughlin of Little Rock, Ark.. Laurel says that after being notified, her first reaction was disbelief. “I am certainly honored to have been chosen as the winner of this contest,” Laurel reflects. She explains, “I did not expect to win. Once past the initial shock, I just felt extremely grateful for such a generous award from Bryan, for the years of training in writing from my wonderful teachers, and most of all for God’s gracious providence in giving me this amazing opportunity.”
Although Laurel has not yet decided on a major, she is considering English or liberal arts as her field of study when she attends Bryan. She is enthusiastic about studying her interests – such as history, music, and English – in greater depth than she was able to during high school. She says, “I look forward to growing spiritually alongside fellow believers, growing in maturity by taking on new responsibilities, making new friends, and (of course) learning!”
Laurel’s hobbies include reading, knitting, creating art, and playing video games; one of her very favorite pastimes is music – listening, composing, singing, and developing her piano and cello performance skills.
“Calling the essay winner has become a highlight of my year!” exclaimed Admissions Director Joshua Hood. “Laurel is a very deserving winner and will no doubt succeed in every academic endeavor. We are excited to welcome her as a Bryan Lion in 2018!”
Written by Chloe Ann Townsend ’13, advancement writer and editor.