Brian Bolton graduate/mature student essay contest

FFRF Awards $7,850 to winning grad student essays

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has announced the winners for currently enrolled graduates students/25 or older in this year's essay competition. Students were asked to write about "Why the USA is not a 'Christian Nation'" in 850 to 1,000 words. There were six winners in the top five, with a tie for fifth place. FFRF also named three honorable mentions. Scholarships totaled $7,850.

FFRF Lifetime Member Brian Bolton, a retired psychologist, humanist minister and university professor emeritus at the University of Arkansas, very generously endows the graduate essay competition.

  • First place ($3,000): Chris Calvey, 27, "What a Godless Constitution Looks Like," University of Wisconsin- Madison
  • Second place ($2,000): Nicole White, 22, "A Nation Founded by Christian Men is Not a Christian Nation," Louisiana State University of Baton Rouge
  • Third place ($1,000): Anna Kelly, 27, "America’s Toxic Nickname," West Virginia University
  • Fourth place ($500): Max Lewis, 28, "The Myth of a Christian Nation," Brandeis University, Harvard Divinity School
  • Fifth place ($300): Kristen Webster, 30, "On Religious Fanaticism and Zombie Apocalypses," University of Virginia, College of William & Mary, University of Washington Tacoma
  • Fifth place ($300): Kristina Beverlin, 26, "Life in the Christian Nation of Kansas," University of Kansas
  • Honorable mention ($250): Daniel Urban, 33, "The United Secularists of America," University of South Alabama, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Honorable mention ($250): Jessica Abernathy, 30, "Land of the Free," San Francisco State University
  • Honorable mention ($250): Roksana Stalinski, 25, "Actions and not Opinions: Why the United States is not a Christian Nation," University of Ottawa

This year FFRF awarded $14,100 in its William J. Shultz high school essay contest and $11,050 in it's Michel Hakeem college essay contest. FFRF would also like to thank Dorea and Dean Schramm for providing honorable mentions with a $50 bonus.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, based in Madison, Wis., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational charity, is the nation's largest association of freethinkers (atheists, agnostics), and has been working since 1978 to keep religion and government separate.

FFRF is a non-profit, educational organization. All dues and donations are deductible for income-tax purposes.

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