Washington Literary and Debating Society Scholarship

The Washington Literary Society and Debating Union was established in 1835 in order to pursue the study of oratory, to acquire the practice of debate, and to promote general literary culture. “The Wash” continues to meet every Thursday night at 8pm in Jefferson Hall for members to present works of literature and participate in debates.

The varied membership of the Wash values both the wit and insight of these presentations. As we are associated in the pursuit of a common, noble goal, it is our desire to also be united in the firm and lasting ties of friendship, thus proving ourselves worthy of the sentiments of our motto:

Quam Fluctus Diversi
Quam Mare Conjuncti
(Though the waves are many, the sea is one)

This year, the scholarship will be open to all undergraduate students studying in Fall 2018. Instead of having a specific question; we are asking contestants to respond to the theme: “Independence versus Unity” in ~750 words. We are accepting both humorous and serious responses and both will be judged holistically by a group of alumni readers. On April 5th, we will have the top contestants present to the society and a panel of judges will pick the winners. We are having 3 prizes (1st place of $500, 2nd of $300, and 3rd place $200). It is our hope that all applicants will invoke the ideals of our society; creating essays that are creative, clever and worthy to be read aloud.


  • Application Deadline: March 21, 2018, by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time
  • We are accepting both humorous and serious responses and both will be judged holistically by a group of alumni readers.
  • Applications must be submitted online by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on March 21, 2018.

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