“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 deadline to submit essays has passed.

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.

This year offers a special twist as BYU celebrates Cosmo during Homecoming. Essays will focus on everyone's favorite mascot. Not only has Cosmo entertained the BYU community for more than 65 years, but he has become a tradition and an enduring symbol of the BYU true blue spirit.  


1st Place: $3,000; opportunity to present essay at Homecoming Opening Ceremonies; published in BYU Magazine   

2nd Place: $2,000

3rd Place: $1,000

Honorable Mention (3 awarded): $500


The essay must establish a connection between:

  • Cosmo as a mascot, symbol, or tradition of BYU

  • The 2019 Homecoming theme “Rise and Shout”

  • Personal reflections


  1. The contest is open to all full-time BYU undergraduate and graduate students attending classes on campus Fall Semester 2019.
  2. Essays should be approximately 750 words.
  3. Your name must not appear anywhere on your essay.
  4. Submit essay online at studentalumni.byu.edu.
  5. Essay submission deadline is Friday, October 4 at 2 p.m. (MST). Submit your essay here


Attend a writing workshop conducted by contest judges in the 1060 HBLL.

  • September 11, 4 p.m. 

  • September 12, 11 a.m. 

Use the Cosmo bibliography provided by the L. Tom Perry Special Collections in the Harold B. Lee Library, or read through previous winning essays by clicking on one of the following links:

2007  2008  2009  2010  2011  2012  2013  2014  2015  2016  2017  2018


Does my essay have to be exactly 750 words long?

No. Your essay should be approximately 750 words long. This is about the length that BYU Magazine will allow for publishing. Be aware that BYU Magazine will likely edit the winning essay for publishing.

What format should I use for citations?

Because this is an essay, you may choose any accepted formatting citation style you like. Citations of the winning essays will be checked. However, the citiations for the winning essay will not be printed in BYU Magazine.

Can I submit my essay late?

No. The submission deadline is firm. 

What is considered full-time?

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

When will the winners be notified?

The winners will be called Oct. 10. All other entrants will be notified by email Oct. 11.

Can I get feedback on my essay from the contest judges?

Unfortunately due to the large number of entrants, this is not possible.

In what format should I submit my essay?

Essays must be submitted online as a PDF or Microsoft Word document.

To be eligible, do I have to be attending classes on campus during Fall Semester?

Yes. The winner will read his/her essay at Homecoming Opening Ceremonies.