When Carl Neureuther, a 1940 graduate of Washington University, set up an endowment in 1987 to support library collections, he was also ensuring support for something more: a lifelong love of reading.
He wanted to encourage students to read for pleasure—not just for class—and in addition to growing the University Libraries’ collection of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction, Neureuther’s gift created an annual essay contest that invites students to share stories of their own passion for reading and collecting books.
Twenty-six years later, the results are in for this year’s Neureuther Student Book Collection Essay Competition sponsored by Washington University Libraries. WU students entered their essays into undergrad and graduate categories, competing for prizes of $1,000 for first place and $500 for second place. Judging was conducted by four volunteers recruited from among the faculty of Washington University and the St. Louis community.
This year, Sarah Sobonya, a PhD candidate in Anthropology, won first place in the graduate category for her essay titled “Keeping Abreast of the Literature.” John Gauthier, a first-year law student, took second place in the graduate category with “Arturo Belano and the Storybook War.”
In the undergraduate category, senior Brian Feldman (PNP, Classics) won first place for his essay “A Muse for Recollection: On Collecting Ancient Greek Textbooks.” Sophomore Lauren Henley (History) took second place with “Asthmatic and Alone: How Books Became My World.”
Members of the organizing committee wish to thank and congratulate all of the students who participated in this year’s contest.
The 2013 winning essays, as well as an archive of past ones, are available on the Libraries’ website. An exhibit celebrating the winners' book collections and essays will also be on display in the lobby of Olin Library in late March and early April.