Founders' Scholarship

Each year, Wyoming Catholic College offers three full-tuition scholarships to select members of the incoming Freshman class through its Founders’ Scholarship Competition.

Over three days, invitees will attend WCC classes, discover Wyoming’s sublimely beautiful landscape, practice rhetoric in both speech and writing, and discuss a topic of their choice with professors in small, Oxford-style tutorials.

The Fall competition will be held October 28-31, 2021, and the Spring competition will be held February 24-27, 2022.

Further information

In this weekend-long competition, the best high school students from across the country discuss, debate, question, and think about great texts and great ideas at the highest level, all while competing for a full-tuition scholarship: the WCC Founders‘ Scholarship.

On Friday afternoon, candidates participate in a dynamic WCC-style seminar discussion.  The seminar is followed by Oxford-style tutorials with College faculty. This offers the faculty the opportunity to see how the students think and interact, and at the same time the students see how our faculty think and interact.

On Saturday, all invitees write a timed essay and compete in a rhetoric competition, delivering five-minute speeches.

The weekend concludes with the Dean’s Banquet and entertainment provided by the WCC student body.

Participants must be high school seniors who have submitted a complete academic application to Wyoming Catholic College. (Student may interview with a faculty member during the competition if they desire.) Students who exhibit academic excellence throughout the application essay, letters of reference, and high school (unofficial) transcript will be accepted into the competition. After submitting all materials to the College, applicants will be informed of their acceptance to the competition by the Office of Admission.

The Path to Eden: Art in Purgatorio
In Purgatorio, Dante follows his guide Virgil out of Hell to the realm of souls who are suffering, but yet have hope of salvation. Upon passing through the gates of Purgatory, Dante is arrested by the sight of marble sculpture along the road. Various scenes of biblical tales and ancient legends are depicted. Virgil intimates that the art was carved at God’s command. Why is it there? What is the link between theology and the sacred imagination, especially for a medieval mind like Dante? These images are seen by souls particularly weighed down by pride; how might each carved scene serve to correct this vice? What does the arrangement of all of them together do for the soul? Students will study Canto X of Purgatorio and related texts; gaining a deeper understanding of the relation between beauty and divine justice, and the role of art in Dante’s epic.
Give the Devil his Due: Ratzinger and Dostoevsky on the Dilemmas of Freedom
In an attempt to solve the problems of human suffering and wickedness, Dostoevsky’s Ivan–one of the three protagonist-brothers of The Brothers Karamazov–invents the figure of the wise, grave, and noble Grand Inquisitor. In Ivan’s tale, or “poem” as he calls it, his Inquisitor comes face to face with Christ and explains to the failed redeemer how and why he has “corrected his deed.” The old man exposes Christ’s way as inadequate to meet humanity’s true needs, the realities of suffering and weakness, and the dangers of freedom. Many have seen in Ivan’s Grand Inquisitor the most powerful challenge ever launched against the Gospel–and against the Western political tradition of self-government, free inquiry, and personal liberty. Some have found the Inquisitor’s case unanswerable.
     The Inquisitor blames Jesus for refusing the wisdom of that “dread and intelligent spirit” who (in what we know as “the three temptations of Christ”) offered the would-be savior what he needed to save humankind indeed. Benedict XVI–like Dostoevsky’s Ivan–reads Matthew, Mark, and Luke’s accounts of the temptation of Christ as a kind of parable in which the most temptingly powerful alternatives to Christ’s way are set before believers. Though the Jesus of Ivan’s poem says nothing in reply to the Inquisitor’s challenge, Christian readers of The Brothers Karamazov must attempt an answer. In doing so, students will call upon the help of Dostoevsky’s saintly Father Zosima, Ivan’s younger brother Alyosha, Pope Benedict, and finally Jesus himself.

Students accepted into the competition should make arrangements to be in Lander by 7 pm on Thursday of the competition weekend.  Students should plan to depart campus by 12 pm on Sunday, but are free to leave any time before then.

The College runs a complimentary shuttle for participants to and from Denver International Airport (DIA).  Students wishing to take advantage of the shuttle should arrive in Denver airport by 11:30 am on Thursday.  Students using the shuttle to return to Denver airport are advised not to book flights with departure times before 2:00 pm on Sunday.

Students arriving in Denver International Airport should collect their baggage and proceed to baggage carousel number 12 in the Jeppesen Terminal.  This is on the west side of the building between doors 512 and 514.  A representative from the College will meet participants starting at 9:30 am.  On the following Sunday, students will be dropped off as close as possible to the check-in area of their airline.

The College will provide lodging for all participants.  There is no need to book a hotel or other lodging for a student participating in the competitions.

Founders' Scholarship Competition Weekend Request


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Submitting this form does not guarantee you a spot in a Founders’ Competition Weekend.  Make sure that you submit your academic application materials by the above deadlines.  The admissions office will contact you to inform you of your acceptance into the competition weekend.