Past winners

Each year, the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration invites Case Western Reserve University students, faculty and staff to write essays in response to an annual theme.

Check out the following sampling of recent essay contest winners.


Winners for the 2014 contest:

  • First Prize
  • Faculty - Sarah Gridley, Assistant Professor of English
    Staff - Venota Pride, Human Resources
    Graduate/Professional Student - Abby Omojola, School of Law
    Undergraduate Student - Justine Ly, Nutritional Biochemistry and Metabolism
  • Second Prize
  • Faculty - Wells Addington, lecturer Department of English
    Staff - Melissa Persensky, Enrollment Management
    Graduate/Professional Student - Sam Duncan, Department of History
    Undergraduate Student - Elizabeth Huddleston, Theater and Psychology


Winners for the 2010 contest:


Winners for the 2009 contest:


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." Share a personal story that illustrates your refusal to remain silent and willingness to make a personal sacrifice in order to advocate for justice.

Winners for the 2008 contest:


Before he died, Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "I want you to say on that day, that I did try in my life... to live and serve humanity." Write about how you see his commitment to humanity carried out in our current society.

Winners for the 2005 contest:

  • First Place: Eric Hammond
  • Second Place: Joung Hyun Park
  • Third Place: Alex van Voorhees


Each year we celebrate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. How does his life, purpose and dream affect your life? What does it mean to you?

Winners for the 2003 contest:

  • First Place: Aqueelah Jordan
  • Second Place: Jessica Stork
  • Third Place: Eric (Ruo-Yang) Xu