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Freshman John Hill was named the 2022 winner of the National Christopher Columbus Essay Contest by the National Italian American Foundation and the National Christopher Columbus Association, as announced by both organizations this past Columbus Day.

Freshman John Hill was named the 2022 winner of the National Christopher Columbus Essay Contest by the National Italian American Foundation and the National Christopher Columbus Association, as announced by both organizations this past Columbus Day. Hill earned a scholarship and was honored in Washington, D.C., for his essay, which spoke on how Columbus’ expeditions served as a catalyst for cultural exchange on a global scale.

Hill, who hails from Houston, Texas, first heard about the essay contest through Seton Home Study School and eagerly wrote his 1200-word submission, researching Columbus’ history and legacy extensively for his work — especially touching upon the history books of Christendom founder Dr. Warren H. Carroll and his wife, Anne Carroll.

“I feel a personal connection to Columbus in my choice of college — all the more fitting that this is where your generous scholarship is supporting my studies,” said Hill in his acceptance speech in Washington, D.C. “I attend Christendom College in Front Royal, Virginia, just an hour or so west of us. It was founded by Dr. Warren Carroll, who wrote The Glory of Christendom, among several other historical works. Additionally, his wife, Anne Carroll was a historian who diligently researched the life of Columbus. As such, they were very important sources for my own research while writing my essay.”

In his essay, Hill explored how Columbus’ voyages shaped Western Civilization during his time and the enormous impact he had on society that can still be seen today. Hill was inspired by his family’s deep passion for history and for Columbus when researching and writing his essay, ultimately coming to a deeper appreciation of the wide-ranging impact he had on society at large.

The winner of the essay contest is announced each year at the annual civic Columbus Day Ceremony, which is set against the backdrop of the National Christopher Columbus Memorial Fountain in Christopher Columbus Circle located in the Nation’s Capital. Hill delivered his acceptance speech and read his essay aloud at the event.

The winner of the essay contest is announced each year at the annual civic Columbus Day Ceremony, which is set against the backdrop of the National Christopher Columbus Memorial Fountain in the Nation’s Capital. Hill delivered his acceptance speech and read his essay aloud at the event.

“Columbus’s legacy impacts me every day, as American history would not be the same without his bravery in charting unchartered waters and ultimately, founding the first route to our nation,” said Hill. “I think of all the things that happen on a daily basis because of his initial discovery- immigration, commerce, tourism- and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. In closing, I am most grateful you are making it possible for me to attend Christendom College, as I imagine the classical liberal arts program I’m completing is very similar to how Columbus himself was educated.”

Since 1996, the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) has joined with the National Christopher Columbus Association to sponsor an annual national essay contest on Christopher Columbus. The contest is open to students in grades 9 through 12 in public, private, or parochial schools, or to those who are home-schooled.

The winner of the essay contest is announced each year at the annual civic Columbus Day Ceremony, which is set against the backdrop of the National Christopher Columbus Memorial Fountain in Christopher Columbus Circle located in the Nation’s Capital. Hill delivered his acceptance speech and read his essay aloud at the event, which also featured “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band,the United States Joint Armed Forces Honor Guard, the Knights of Columbus Color Corps with Historical Flags of the U.S, Diplomatic Corps from the Embassies of Spain, Italy, Bahamas, and more.

Read Hill’s essay here

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