Students who took top honors in the 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. poster and essay contests will have their work displayed during a reception Tuesday, Jan. 17, from 4 to 6 p.m. in Perspective Gallery in Squires Student Center at Virginia Tech.

This year 26 schools submitted over 500 posters and essays. This is the largest participation the Office for Diversity and Inclusion has had since the inception of the contests. This year’s theme, "Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?," was taken from a sermon King delivered in which he challenged people to reflect on how they live their lives. The theme guided students to create posters and write essays that expressed how they have or would like to help others in their community.

The winning posters and essays will be displayed Jan. 17 though Feb. 4 at Perspective Gallery. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from noon until 9 p.m. and Sunday from noon until 7 p.m.

Posters are judged on how effectively the artwork expresses individuality through unique ideas, how the artwork illustrates imaginative and meaningful ideas, and how well the artwork relates to the theme.

Essays are judged on how well the student articulates imaginative, thoughtful perspectives and insights to describe a personal plan of action that corresponds to the theme; whether the essay contains proper grammar; and if the essay has a coherent topic that includes an introduction, body, and conclusion.

The purpose of the poster and essay contests is to encourage students to think critically about King’s legacy. First, second, and third place winners in each grade will receive a U.S. savings bond and be recognized at the annual community brunch that is scheduled for Jan. 16 at The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center.

The poster and essay contests are sponsored by the Office for Diversity and Inclusion and the Montgomery County-Radford City-Floyd County Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

For more information contact Linda Greene or call 540-231-1403.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

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