Founders' Scholarship Competition

What you need to know

The Founders’ Competition weekend is coming soon.  We want to put some helpful information at your fingertips to help you prepare and enjoy the weekend.  Below you will find information on assignments, schedules, and dress code.

The reading for the weekend is two parts:
  • “Women of Faith” and “A Lady of Little Faith” (pp. 46-59) as well as “The Brothers Get Acquainted,” “Rebellion,” and “The Grand Inquisitor” (pp. 228-64) in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov (tr. Richard Pevar and Larissa Volokhonsky. New York: Farrar Strauss, and Giroux, 1990). Find the pdf here.
  • “The Temptations of Jesus” (pp. 25-45) in Joseph Ratzinger’s (Benedict XVI’s) Jesus of Nazareth (tr. Adrian J. Walker. New York: Doubleday, 2007). Find the pdf here.
Rubric for competitors:
  • In preparation for this seminar, you need to study the two readings above. We suggest that you read both twice, and take notes on the text.
  • Seminars are best when each speaker responds the to the ideas of the previous speaker, rather than ignoring them in order to advertise one’s own ideas.
  • Bear in mind as well that the best contributions are made by those who listen and consider the discussion, and then speak their own thoughts. Neither total silence nor an insistence on dominating the conversation yield much fruit.

In his “poem,” Ivan tells us that before the Grand Inquisitor makes his defense of his project, unfolding his heart and mind in the presence of Christ, he has “burned almost a hundred heretics at once . . . before the teeming populace of all Seville.” 

For your speech, imagine you are one of these heretics. Speak in the voice of one of these men and women who, for one reason or another, have stood out against the established order. Give an oration to your fellow citizens for which the Inquisitor—a man who desires peace and hates needless suffering—might nevertheless deem it necessary to pass the sentence of public execution on you. You must therefore be threatening enough—in the intellectual cogency, beauty, and moving power of your speech—that he could conclude that the only way to silence you, to deter your potential followers, and to protect the peace would be to make an example of your death. Your oration should communicate the grounds of your dissatisfaction, making us feel, see, and understand how and why you became a misfit within the order the Inquisitor is instituting.

Each speech must be four to six minutes in length, and cannot be read.  Speakers will be allowed to have one 3 x 5 in notecard with them at the podium.

Speeches will be judged on the basis of the canons of rhetoric drawn from the classical tradition: a. invention (the ability to find powerful arguments); b. arrangement (the ability to make your arguments clear, orderly, and well-supported); c. style (a good middle style, that is, basically clear and precise with the occasional well placed metaphor or descriptive adjective); d. performance (the ability to speak with confidence, articulation, and good tone and rhythm).


The essay:  Participants will write the essay on Saturday morning.  The goal of the exercise is to see how competitors write under a time limit and spontaneously, so the prompt will be announced either late on Friday night or on Saturday morning. Once you start the essay, you will have two hours to complete it.




Dress Code

Classroom Attire – To be observed in class and at daily Mass. Men should wear a collared shirt, neat slacks or dress jeans* with appropriate belt and with shirt tucked in, and non-sports shoes (cowboy boots and leather shoes are acceptable). Women should wear a dress, a skirt or formal slacks/modest dress jeans* and blouse, and non-sports shoes. 

*Dress Jeans: In Wyoming, “dress jeans” are accepted as khakis as a business casual level of dress. Dress jeans are very dark blue (or black) in color, with no holes, patches, fringe or fading, and with a tailored, relaxed fit.

Formal Attire – For the competition on Saturday, the Vigil Mass, and the formal dinner. Men should wear jacket and tie, dress slacks, and dress shoes or cowboy boots. Women should wear a modest dress or skirt and blouse. Sleeves are required, as are dress shoes or cowboy boots.

Casual Attire – The minimum standard that may be observed outside of the residence halls at all other times. Modest clothing is always required, and students should dress neatly and in accord with Christian dignity.

Outdoor Attire – This type of attire can overlap with Casual Attire, it is more specifically designed for performance and comfort while participating in the outdoor adventure.  Students are advised to bring trail shoes or light hiking boots.  Caving will be the outdoor adventure this year (weather permitting.)(Bring a headlamp!)

Packing List

  •  Please bring an outfit for each type of dress code described above.
  • Bring footwear appropriate for formal settings, outdoor activities, and possible rain or snow.
  • Any medicine or hygiene items you require.
  • We recommend a backpack over messenger bags for the competition.
  • At least one water bottle.
  • Layers appropriate for temperatures from 0 degrees Fahrenheit to 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Hat and gloves
  • Pens and pencils
  • Headlamp for caving

Times and locations are subject to change.


12:30 pm                     Depart Denver International Airport for Lander

5:00 pm                       Early arrivals campus tour starting from Baldwin Building, 306 Main St.

6:30 pm                       Dinner at Frassati Hall

7:00 pm                       Campus tour

7:30 pm                       Orientation and ice-breakers

9:00 pm                       Holy Hour (Holy Rosary Church – Optional)

10:30 pm                     Curfew



 7:00-8:00 am           Breakfast at Frassati Hall

7:45 am                       Orientation

8:30-9:50 am            Audit classes with current students (see schedule; no prep necessary)

10:00-11:20 am        Audit classes with current students (see schedule; no prep necessary)

11:35 am                     Mass

12:15 pm                     Lunch

1:30 pm                       Seminar class (Competitors only)

3:00 pm                      Conversations with faculty (Competitors only)

6:00 pm                       Dinner at Frassati Hall

7:00-9:30 pm             Social Hour at the Pequod

10:30 pm                     (Recommended) Curfew for competitors



 7:15 am                       Breakfast in Frassati Hall

8:00 am                      Essay writing begins at Augur (Competitors Only)

10:00 am                    Essay writing finishes

10:15 am                     Speeches begin at Augur (Competitors only)

12:15 pm                     Lunch in Frassati Hall

12:45 pm – 4:45 pm      Outdoor adventure (Competitors Only)

6:00 pm                       Vigil Mass at Holy Rosary Parish

7:15 pm                       Close of Competition/Formal Dinner (Middle Fork Cafe, Main St.)

8:30 pm                      Dance put on by WCC student body (Frassati)

12:00 am                     Curfew (Unless at dance)



5:30 am                       Depart Lander for Denver International Airport

The shuttle will depart from Denver International Airport after the last passengers arrive on Thursday of the competition weekend. Please schedule your flight to arrive before noon on Thursday. A college representative will await all incoming competitors at Baggage Carousel 12, Jeppesen Terminal West. If you have trouble finding us, or your flight/baggage is delayed, please call Ms. Madeleine Trull at 314-438-7585. Shuttles will depart for Denver International Airport on Sunday no later than 5:30 am, so be ready at your dormitory at 5:00 am.

For those arriving to the College in their own vehicle, please check in the at the College’s main entrance at 306 Main St. in Lander.  There you will receive your reading packet and other orientation materials.  Please check in between 5:30 and 6:00 pm on Thursday evening.

Those arriving by air but not taking the Denver shuttle will be met by College representatives and directed on a case-by-case basis. If you have questions, please contact Eastlyn Ullmann at 307-349-5684, or add notes to the travel information form below.

The College will reimburse competitors or their families up to $300 for travel expenses.  To request a voucher, please submit flight, lodging, and ground transportation receipts to Photos of paper receipts or forwarded emails are both acceptable.  Please also include an address to which the check may be sent.


If you have not already signed and returned a risk waiver to WCC, either for this competition or a previous stay such as PEAK program, you can download our risk waiver here.


Competitors' Forms

Use the forms below to select options for your weekend and submit travel information.