This site provides access to the digitized essays written by students who won first, second, and third place for the Thomas Jefferson Essay Competition at Elon University. Philip L. Carret, a long time New York investor, visited Elon College in October of 1996 at the invitation of Mark Albertson, Registrar and Assistant to the Provost. In 1997, Mr. Carret endowed an annual essay competition designed to have students reflect the ideals and principles embodied in Thomas Jefferson's life and career. "Thomas Jefferson, with the possible exception of Abraham Lincoln, is the greatest statesman this country has ever produced," Carret said as he established the contest. The original booklets that the essays were published in have been cataloged and can be found in the Belk Library general circulating collection and the Archives and Special Collections. All digital collections are best viewed using Internet Explorer.