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 27th-30th, 2022, and the Spring competition has been rescheduled from February 23rd-26th to April 13th-16th, 2023.

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.

Theme: Classical philosophers like Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, and Augustine celebrate friendship as one of life’s greatest blessings. Friendship among equally virtuous, like-minded men, especially those who are philosophically inclined, is necessary for full human flourishing. The classical authors have been less optimistic about the possibility of female friendship. Montaigne, the great French essayist, writes,”women are in truth not normally capable of responding to such familiarity and mutual confidence as sustain that holy bond of friendship, nor do their souls seem firm enough to withstand the clasp of a knot so lasting and so tightly.” Jane Austen shares the classical conviction that virtuous friendship is central to happiness, but she is confident that women are capable of sustaining “that holy bond of friendship” And, even, that men and women can be friends with each other. What does Austen have to teach us about the kind of friendship that is central to the happy life, for both genders? What dangers does she see in friendship?

Theme: Antigone: “I will bury him; and if I must die, / I say that this crime
is holy.” Ismene: “The law is strong, we must give in to the law / In this
thing, and in worse. I beg the Dead / to forgive me, but I am helpless: I
must yield / to those in authority.”
With these words, Ismene refuses to aid her sister Antigone’s effort to bury her dead brother, an action honoring to the gods and the dead but contrary to the law of the city. Each character believes she can do no other. Which must direct the ship of soul, conscience or law? Internal or external authority? Must they ever conflict? Sophocles’ takes on this question in his dramatic tragedy, Antigone, written after Athens’ prime, as it declines throughout the Peloponnesian war. Meanwhile, in the near East, the beleaguered nation of Israel, under the thumb of Persian overlords ponders its own answers to questions of conscience and authority from its divinely-inspired literature handed down from centuries past. To Adam and Eve, we might ask, “in light of the serpent’s description, what else is there but to take the fruit?” For the ancient ruler Jephthah, having won a great battle on account of his vow to God: “how can he take back his word when the vow surprisingly demands the horrific?” Some have argued Athens has little to do with Jerusalem, but all cultures have to face the question: what happens when authority and conscience collide?
See the Competitors’ Page for the speech prompt!

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.