Scholars Win $21,000 in Templeton Fellowships Essay Contest: News Releases: The Independent Institute

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News Release
October 5, 2009

Scholars Win $21,000 in Templeton Fellowships Essay Contest

OAKLAND, Calif., Oct. 5, 2009—The Independent Institute announced the six winners of the 2009 Sir John M. Templeton Fellowships Essay Contest this week. Three college students and three junior faculty will receive $21,000 in prize money.

Essayists were asked to consider Benjamin Franklin’s remark that “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters,” and respond to the question: Which virtues contribute the most toward achieving freedom, and how can the institutions of civil society encourage the exercise of those virtues?

“The contest winners deserve our highest accolades,” said Carl Close, Academic Affairs Director of the Independent Institute. “By identifying key connections between virtue, freedom and civil society, these young scholars have reinforced the intellectual edifice on which liberty stands.”

In the junior faculty division, Ben O’Neill (University of South Wales) won $10,000 in first place for “The Threat of Virtue: Why Independence and Integrity Threaten the State.” In second place, Ross Corbett (Northern Illinois University) won $5,000 for “Liberal Education for Liberal Democracy.” Finally, Claudia Williamson (Appalachian State University) received $1,500 in third place for “Civilizing Society: Virtues, Freedom, and Development.”

In the college student division, Brad Taylor’s (University of Canterbury) “Virtue and the Voluntary” received $2,500 in first place. Second place went to Jordan Paul Smith (Cornell University), along with $1,500, for “Principled Independence.” Lastly, “Libertarian Entrepreneurs: Lives of Virtuosity and Generosity” secured third place—and $1,000—for Antonio Zanella (Universidad Rey Juan Carlos).

Administered by the Independent Institute and funded by the John Templeton Foundation, the contest encourages college students and untenured college professors around the world to study the meaning and significance of economic and personal liberty. A panel of judges reviews each submission. This year’s judges were professors Jonathan Bean (Southern Illinois University), Roderick Long (Auburn University), and Benjamin Powell (Suffolk University).

To download an application for the 2010 contest, please see:

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