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Love American History? Apply for the Joseph J. Ellis Scholarship!

Written by gbspcamp on Monday, April 28, 2014

Love American History?  Apply for the Joseph J. Ellis Scholarship!

Last summer, Great Books honored Pulitzer Prize winning historian Joseph J. Ellis , author of  Revolutionary Summer (out in paperback in June), with a scholarship in his name.   June 1st  is the deadline for this year's scholarship opportunity, based on a minimum 500 word essay on the creation of America and completed standard and financial aid applications.

Rachel Sturges was the recipient last year and she wrote her essay on female Revolutionary War hero Deborah Sampson.  "I didn't want to do my project on a very well known American Revolutionary hero. I read a book about Deborah Sampson in class, and I thought her story was really interesting.  She went through so much, but continued her life how she wanted to live it, though she sacrificed a lot.  I'm absolutely in love with the American Revolution. I feel like it's a really important part of our history and also of England's history. Since I'm half English, I like to know about my heritage," Rachel said.

Last summer was Rachel's first at Great Books.  Though not all of the assigned texts were ones she loved, Rachel said she "still liked to go deeper into them and understand them better, and sometimes it helped me enjoy the pieces better."  As a budding writer, she enjoyed taking the writing electives and even got some advice from Ellis about which colleges might be good for a future in writing.  "[Joe Ellis] inspired me a lot, actually. He made me realize a lot of things about my writing, and where I want to be with it, and what I want to write about."

If you or a student you know is interested in the scholarship, be sure to submit essays and applications by June 1st.  For more information, go to the Great Books website or call 1-866-480-7323 .

Category : General Information

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What they did on their summer vacation: At the Great Books program at Amherst College, reading is a joy, not a chore

At first glance, it looked like a scene from a typical day at Amherst College: about 100 students in a lecture hall, on tiered seating on three sides of the room, notebooks and digital devices like iPads at hand, while a professor stood in the well of the room, looking up at some of the young people seated above him.

The subject matter seemed a serious one. Discussion revolved at first around “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” Harriet Beecher Stowe’s seminal anti-slavery novel that became a bestseller in the 1850s as the United States moved ever closer to civil war. “That was a time of growing division,” the professor said. “How different is our country today?”

In this case, though, it was early July, and the professor, Ilan Stavans, was wearing shorts and no shoes; as for the students, they looked a little young to be in college. They were, in fact, high school students, from their mid-to-late teens and from across the country and overseas, who had come to Amherst to do something not usually associated with summer camps: read.

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