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-seven years later, the results are in for this year's Neureuther Student Book Collection Essay Competition sponsored by Washington University Libraries. WUSTL 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 well-qualified volunteers recruited from among the faculty of Washington University and the St. Louis community, who will gather to congratulate the winners at an awards luncheon in early April.
This year, Corey Twitchell, a PhD candidate in Germanic Languages & Literatures, won first place in the graduate category for his essay titled "Combining Fact and Fiction: My Collection of German-Jewish Writing." Kelly Oman, a PhD candidate in English, took second place in the graduate category with "Ordering Chaos in the Novels of P.G. Wodehouse."
In the undergraduate category, senior printmaking major Joyce Hankins won first place for her essay "A Self Portrait," and senior English major Talya Zax took second place with "The Old-Fashioned Girls."
Members of the organizing committee wish to thank and congratulate all of the students who participated in this year’s contest.
The 2014 winning essays, as well as an archive of past ones, are available on the Libraries' website and as a collection in the Open Scholarship repository. An exhibit celebrating the winners' book collections and essays, and the legacy of the long-running contest as a whole, is on display in Olin Library (Level 1) from Thursday, March 27, until Monday, April 7.