Platt Family Essay Contest

This scholarship was established in memory of Chuck Platt, co-founder and longtime Treasurer of The Lincoln Forum, and sponsor of its annual Platt Family Lincoln Essay Contest for college students. Designed for full-time, undergraduate students in an American college or university, recipients are chosen by the Scholarship Committee of The Lincoln Forum based on their submitted essay. Essay’s topics are chosen each year by this committee. The first-place winner has the opportunity to attend the annual symposium of The Lincoln Forum in Gettysburg, PA in November.

Annual Amount

1st Prize - $1,500

2nd Prize - $750

3rd Prize - $500

Open To

Full-time undergraduate students attending an American college/university

Additional Selection Criteria

Contest Rules
Please examine the rules below closely before contacting The Lincoln Forum or the contest coordinator with eligibility questions.

  • The scholarship essay contest is designed for students who are FULL TIME, undergraduate students in an AMERICAN COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY during the Spring 2023 semester. The July 31 deadline is designed to give these students time to finish their essays, if need be, after final exams.
  • You do not have to be an American citizen, but you do need to be attending an AMERICAN COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY during the eligibility period.
  • It is NOT open to high school students. Key question to consider; when we contact your college or university registrar will they be able to confirm that you were enrolled as a full-time college student during the spring 2023 semester? If the answer is no, you are not eligible.
  • The eligibility of entrants will be confirmed by the Lincoln Forum prior to the awarding of prizes.

Topic for 2023:
“2023 is the 160th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. Does Abraham Lincoln deserve the title of ‘The Great Emancipator’? Why or why not?”

Entries must contain a minimum of 1,500 and a maximum of 5,000 words.

Essays may be submitted via regular mail (postmarked by July 31, 2023) or via e-mail (time stamped before midnight July 31, 2023) to the address below.

The essay must be typed and include a works-cited page or bibliography. Endnotes are suggested but not required.

Application Process

  • There is no application form for the contest. The essay and your contact information serves as your application.

  • Applicants must include the name of their college or university with their entry and all contact information (regular and email address) must be put on the essay proper.

  • Judging will take place during the fall. The three winners will be announced at the Lincoln Forum annual meeting in Gettysburg on November 18th. Checks from the Lincoln Forum will be sent to the winners in December 2022. The scholarship prize money is designed as a reward for academic excellence. It can be used for any purpose the winner desires.

  • The essay can be sent via email ( e-mail: ) or regular mail to the address below.

Don McCue, Director of The Lincoln Shrine in Redlands, California serves as coordinator of the Essay Contest.


If the above information does not answer your question please contact:

      Don McCue, Director — Lincoln Memorial Shrine

     125 W. Vine St.

     Redlands, CA 92373

     phone: (909) 798-7632



July 31, 2023


Information not given

For the application or more information go to: