Civility Essay Contest

Many have lamented the loss of civility and bipartisanship in political and public realms. Name-calling, attack ads, deliberate mistruths, and even overt violence towards members of the press and political opponents are common features of public life.

The Honors College at Westminster—whose curriculum is designed around constructive conversation and collaborative learning—sponsors an annual essay contest for Utah high school students who want to engage in civil conversation about the crucial issues of our day, making arguments about hard topics in a reasonable, evidence-based fashion.


All current Utah high school students are eligible for the essay contest.


The contest will be judged by a bipartisan panel of prominent Utah Republicans, Democrats, and Independents.


Awards are underwritten through the generosity of WCF Insurance.

  • $2,000 cash award for the best essay
  • $500 cash runner-up award

Award Ceremony

Winners will be recognized on Monday, March 16, at 7:00 p.m. at the Kim T. Adamson Lecture in International Studies. After the essay contest winners are recognized, the 2020 Adamson Lecture will be delivered by Dr. M. Jackson, noted glaciologist and National Geographic explorer, who will discuss the effects of melting glaciers on local communities and global populations.

Ceremony Location

Vieve Gore Concert Hall in the Jewett Center for the Performing Arts
Westminster College
1840 South 1300 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84105

View Campus Map

Enter the Contest

Essay Topic

Write an essay (600 words or less) that identifies the most significant current problem facing us as we seek to address the challenges of climate change and proposes a viable solution(s) that would effectively tackle or overcome impediments to progress.

Essay Deadline

Essays are due Tuesday, Feb. 25 at midnight.

Honors Students Discussing in Class

Learn More About Westminster's Honors College

What if your classes were designed around the concept of helping you practice the habit of thinking? Of helping you develop an authentic writer’s voice so that—as Irish poet Seamus Heaney once remarked—your words have "the feel of you about them?" Of helping you challenge yourself to such a degree that you learn new things about yourself?

Westminster’s Honors College offers a distinctive course of study for academically and intellectually prepared students who want to challenge themselves in a supportive community of learners. Made up of one of the most comprehensive team-taught, interdisciplinary honors curriculums in the country, the Honors College guides you towards your best future self.

Learn More


  • WCF Insurance