Annual President's Essay Contest and Awards Program recognizes student achievements


TUSKEGEE, Ala. (April 17, 2011) - The annual President's Essay Contest and Awards Program was held Sunday, April 17 in the University Chapel. Students from various colleges and student organizations were recognized for their academic achievements, campus involvement and community service. The theme of this year’s program was “Bringing the World to Tuskegee and Tuskegee to the World.”

"The success of this program depends totally on the generosity of our donors.  We had forty-three new awards from recent Tuskegee University graduates and new donors that increased our totals this year. Alfreda S. Wallace and the liaison committee did a fantastic job in recruiting additional donors," said Peter J. Spears, Dean of Students. "This year's monetary awards total over $106,084.”

Dr. Cynthia D. Sellers, Vice President for Student Affairs, recognized the newly elected Student Government Association officers; Miss and Mr. Tuskegee University and their respective courts, the Tuskegee Honda Campus All-Star Challenge team and students who are recognized on the 2010-2011 list of  "Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities."

The Essay Contest, which was open to all Tuskegee students, began in March, with students advancing to different rounds. The three finalists who presented their essays on "Bringing the World to Tuskegee and Tuskegee to the World" were: Mary C. Woodforlk, a senior accounting/finance major from Stone Mountain, Georgia; Alexander C. Dukes, a senior political science major from Albany, Georgia; and Amber N. Grace, a senior chemistry major from Montgomery, Alabama.

Grace was awarded the first place prize of $1,000. Dukes was awarded the second place prize of $600; and Woodforlk came in third with $400.

Dr. Gilbert L. Rochon, University President, ended the program by telling the audience of students, faculty and visitors that he along with his wife will personally increase the monetary awards to the three winners of the Essay Contest. $1,500 for first place, $1,000 for second place, and $500 for third place.  “My wife and I offer additional prize money to the recipients in addition to what the university has already awarded. In keeping with the theme of the program, the students, if they decide to do so, can use the additional awards to facilitate an opportunity to study abroad with universities and research institutes with whom Tuskegee has established ties.”


From left, Dr. Gilbert L. Rochon, President; Amber Grace, 1st place winner; Alexander C. Dukes, 2nd place winner; Mary C. Woodforlk, 3rd place winner; and Dr. Luther S. Williams, Provost.

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