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George H. Brimhall Memorial Essay Contest

“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.

We are excited to sponsor the essay contest as we honor Janie Thompson, a professor at Brigham Young University and the founding director of the BYU Young Ambassadors and the Living Legends performance groups.


Janie Thompson

Submit your essay here!


1st Place: $3,000 and published in BYU Magazine
2nd Place: $2,000
3rd Place: $1,000
Honorable Mention (3 awarded): $500


The essay must establish a connection between:

  • The honored founder, Janie Thompson
  • The 2021 Homecoming theme “Make Your Moment”
  • Personal reflections


  1. The contest is open to all full-time BYU undergraduate and graduate students enrolled Fall Semester 2021.
  2. Essays should be approximately 750 words.
  3. Your name must not appear anywhere on your essay.
  4. Submit essay online at
  5. Essay submission deadline is Friday, September 24, 2021 at 2 p.m. (MST). Submit your essay here.


  • 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.

  • 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 citations for the winning essay will not be printed in BYU Magazine.

  • No. The submission deadline is firm.

  • 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.

  • The winners will be called September 30. All other entrants will be notified by email October 1.

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

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

  • In past years, this has been the case. However, entrants may now be full-time online-only students.