“The school depends not on man, or any set of men. God planted it, and we are but gardeners to take care of it.”  –George H. Brimhall


The BYU Student Alumni Association and descendants of former BYU president George H. Brimhall honor the founders of Brigham Young University each year at Homecoming with the Brimhall Essay Contest. The competition is designed to encourage high levels of scholarship among BYU students and promote understanding and appreciation of BYU’s mission and legacy and the challenges of its great founders. The 2017 honored founder will LaVell Edwards.


  • First Place: $3,000; essay published in BYU Magazine; opportunity to read essay at Homecoming Opening Ceremonies; invitation to the Founders Day Luncheon
  • Second Place: $2,000; invitation to the Founders Day Luncheon
  • Third Place: $1,000; invitation to the Founders Day Luncheon
  • Honorable Mentions: $500 (3 awarded); invitation to the Founders Day Luncheon


The contest is open to all BYU-Provo undergraduate and graduate students who are full-time* during Fall Semester 2017.

  • The essay should be approximately 750 words.
  • Your name must not appear anywhere on your essay, or it will be rejected.
  • Submit a pdf or Microsoft Word file of your essay online. Other formats will be rejected. A submission link will be available above beginning June 26.
  • Essay deadline is Sept. 22 at 2 p.m. (MST).

Winners will be contacted by phone, and all other participants will receive an email by Sept. 29.

*Full-time for undergraduate students is 12 or more credits and for graduate students is 8.5 or more credits. For less than 8.5 credits, graduate students must petition for full-time status through the Graduate Studies Office.


The essay must establish a connection between:

  1. The honored founder, LaVell Edwards
  2. The Homecoming theme, "Loyal, Strong, and True."
  3. Personal reflections

In addition to connecting the three elements above, the winning essay will reflect strong writing.


Attend writing workshop conducted by a contest judge in Hinckley Center Northeast Conference Room.

  • Sept. 13, 4 p.m.
  • Sept. 14, noon

Use bibliographies provided by the L. Tom Perry Special Collections in the Harold B. Lee Library.

Read previous winning essays by clicking on one of the following links:

2007  2008  2009  2010  2011  2012  2013  2014  2015  2016

The submission deadline has now passed.

After submitting your essay, you should receive a confirmation email.