Sewanee Receives $1.1. Million Templeton Grant To Study Essay Contest

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The University of the South, familiarly known as Sewanee, has been awarded a grant by the John Templeton Foundation to study the Laws of Life Essay Contest. The award of more than $1.1 million will allow principal investigator Sherry Hamby, research associate professor in the Department of Psychology, to conduct a comprehensive mixed-methods evaluation of the essay contest.

The Laws of Life Essay Contest will be familiar to many people who either participated as students or have children who participated in the contest. The contest originated in Franklin County, Tn., the home of Sir John Templeton. The Laws of Life are principles such as the Golden Rule or "honesty is the best policy." Students choose the Law of Life that has been most important to them and write an essay on how it has touched their lives.

The Laws of Life Essay Contest has now celebrated its 25th anniversary and has expanded across the world. More than 100,000 students participate every year. It is one of several Templeton Foundation projects to promote moral character development.

The research project will be the first-ever scientific evaluation of the essay contest. Considerable research on other types of expressive writing and journaling programs indicates that these writing experiences can have long-lasting positive effects. Hamby and co-investigators Victoria Banyard (University of New Hampshire) and John Grych (Marquette University) will talk with people of all ages who have participated in the Laws of Life Essay Contest, as well as with a comparison group of people who did not participate. The study might include as many as 3,000 people from Franklin County and surrounding Tennessee counties.

The researchers will assess a wide range of possible outcomes to provide a comprehensive assessment of the effects of writing the essay and how expressive writing on the Laws of Life might help people as they experience challenges in life.

Ms. Hamby sees benefits to the University of the South, through the involvement of students and alumni in the research, and to its surrounding community. “Most importantly,” she said, “we hope that the results of the project will provide new insight and impetus to efforts promoting positive character development among young people here and in other countries.”

Sewanee: The University of the South, familiarly known as Sewanee, comprises a nationally recognized College of Arts and Sciences and a distinguished School of Theology. Located on 13,000 acres in Tennessee’s Cumberland Plateau, Sewanee enrolls 1,500 undergraduates and approximately 100 seminarians. 


Lee To Host Guest Lecturer John McCluskey Thursday

Lee University’s School of Music will host Shorter University professor and Lee alum Dr. John McCluskey to present a guest lecture on musical segregation in American college football on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.  “I am personally and professionally pleased to welcome Dr. McCluskey back to his alma mater to speak on this timely topic,” said Dr. Phillip Thomas, chair of Lee’s ... (click for more)

Cleveland City Schools Present This Week's Calendar

Yates Primary School celebrates  Dr. Seuss Week . In honor of Dr. Seuss' birthday, classes will invite reading guests and each day will have special activities. For more information  click here .    Monday  - I Am Not Going to Get Up Today! Tuesday  - The Cat in the Hat Wednesday  - Wacky  Wednesday ... (click for more)

Car Crosses Center Line And Grazes Bradley School Bus; 3 Students Taken To Hospital For Observation

A car came across the center line and grazed the right side bumper of a school bus in Bradley County on Monday afternoon. Three students were taken to the hospital for observation. School officials said Bradley County School bus #48 was involved in the accident on Old Chattanooga Pike and Black Fox Road. Students were assessed and three were taken to the hospital ... (click for more)

NASA Employee Gets 10-Year Federal Prison Term After Being Caught In Child Sex Sting In Chattanooga; De Matties Placed Ad Looking For "Petite Young Teenage Slut"

Thomas de Matteis, 54, of Hazel Green, Ala., was sentenced on Monday by Federal Judge Sandy Mattice to serve 10 years in federal prison for coercing or enticing a minor to engage in sexual activity. Matteis entered a guilty plea to the charge in November 2016.   At the time of his offenses, Matteis was employed by NASA in Alabama.  An investigation started by ... (click for more)

Embrace America - And Response

Okay, Hollywierd we get it. The world of entertainment and cinema arts do not support President Trump. But for all their derisive and divisive speech, truth remains. People who support conservative values do not hate children, we do not hate immigrants, we do not hate other races and ethnicities although that is all you trumpet at every opportunity.  What we do support ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Eye Of The Storm

There is a very serious building in Norman, Okla., that houses the nation’s Storm Prediction Center for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Weather Service. According to a Four-Day Forecast released on Sunday, north Alabama and the Chattanooga area are in the middle of the bulls eye for the United States. Yes, it was about 40 degrees and sunny ... (click for more)