Hendrich receives full-tuition scholarship in Bryan College essay competition

Savannah Hendrich, recipient of the 2018 Great Commoner Essay Competition Scholarship

December 14, 2018 – Miss Savannah Hendrich from Maryville, TN was awarded a full-tuition scholarship to Bryan College. Hendrich is the 2018 winner of the Bryan College Great Commoner Essay Competition.

Hendrich expressed her excitement about attending Bryan, and her gratitude to God for the opportunity. Her decision to attend Bryan was heavily influenced by the Christian focus of the college. “I love that Bryan puts Christ first and is very missions-minded,” said Hendrich. “As I have been pursuing pre-med, I am encouraged that Bryan College will help me to work to share the Gospel wherever I am. Bryan College’s close-knit community is also very important to me. It is comforting to know that I will be in an environment that seeks to honor Christ and grow closer to Him, even among academic pressure and busy schedules. Together, we can grow closer to Christ. I am also excited that Bryan College views science from the perspective of Creationism. I have been very interested in the scientific proof for Creationism, and how it points to God’s glory, since I was young. I really like Bryan’s surrounding town, Dayton. Because of its beauty, small-town feel, and rich history, I am excited to be a part of this community.”  

The essay contest was first held in 2016 and takes place each year on the Bryan College campus. Students are given an essay prompt and have two hours to write their essay. Submissions are then read and judged by a panel of Bryan College faculty. This year’s prompt called on the historic martyr, Patrick Hamilton, and his role in the Scottish Reformation. Students were asked to consider the role faith in Christ plays in the lives of high schoolers and their own development in their formative college years.

“Savannah has the ability to think deeply, express herself thoroughly, and, like Mr. Bryan himself, to do it in a manner that moves her audience,” said Dr. Raymond Legg, professor of English and essay competition judge.

Hendrich was one of eighty seven high school seniors who competed in this year’s competition. The competition was held as part of a two day scholarship event during which students and their families get to experience life at Bryan College. Students toured the school; visited with faculty, staff and students; spent the night in the dorms and interviewed or auditioned for other available scholarships.

The event is by invitation only and students must be accepted to the college and meet specific GPA and entrance exam requirements. Hendrich is the third recipient of the Bryan College Great Commoner Essay Competition scholarship.


Admissions Announces Winner of Great Commoner Essay Competition

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.


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