Laws Of Life Essay And Video Contest

The Laws of Life Contest

Award amount



AUG 31

Awards available


Scholarship title: The Laws of Life Contest

Applicable Majors: All fields of study

In 1997, a philanthropist named John Templeton published a book called "Discovering the Laws of Life." In that book, he gathered together the advice offered by the major religious scriptures of the world, various schools of philosophical thought, storytellers, scientists, artists, and historians regarding one crucial question: “What does it mean to live a good life?” To this day, that text remains a wonderful source of inspiration to people around the world, and this year, which marks the centenary of John Templeton’s birth, the publishing company that bears his name is releasing a revised commemorative edition of that book entitled "The Essential Worldwide Laws of Life."

To mark the occasion, Templeton Press has also established this scholarship contest. Having a purpose, a calling, a sense of why one was placed on this earth was one of Templeton’s original laws of life. To be a happy and successful person, one must have a purpose. If you are a high school senior in the U.S., take some time to think about why you are in this world. Create a vision for yourself and the world you want to create; if you share that vision with us, it could earn you a $5,000 scholarship.

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The winners of the Collegiate Laws of Life Essay Contest read their winning essays at the Paterno Fellows Recognition Ceremony on Feb. 1. The contest was sponsored by the Paterno Fellows Program and the College of the Liberal Arts.

Students selected one of a number of prompts ranging from topics related to technology and print media, pharmaceutical companies, international students and climate change.

The first-place winner was Abdulla Naouf, a Palestinian freshman majoring in biochemistry and molecular biology. His essay was titled, “Special treatment is only fair.”

Second place went to Jason Waltersdorff, a sophomore from Pennsylvania. His essay was titled, “…in which we discuss EMPs, burning iPads, grandpa’s USB library, and cat videos.” Waltersdorff is majoring in political science through World Campus and was unable to attend the ceremony.

The third-place student was Nakul Grover, a sophomore from India. His essay was titled, “The colonist, the environment, and a billion dreams.” Grover is a majoring in chemical engineering and English. He is a Paterno Fellow and Schreyer Scholar.

The annual contest was open to all full-time baccalaureate students who were enrolled at any Penn State campus for the fall 2016 semester. Essays were judged on originality, relevance and creativity. Anyone interested in learning more about the Paterno Fellows Program can visit

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