The McHenry County Historical Society and Museum is accepting applications for its annual Nancy Fike Scholarship.
Named in honor of the society’s former administrator, MCHS awards a $1,000 scholarship to a graduating senior from a McHenry County high school who plans to study education, history or the social sciences. This merit-based scholarship will be given in the winning student’s name to his or her college or university.
Applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA, provide two letters of recommendation (one from a faculty member and one from another representative of the community), show proof of community service and write a minimum 500-word essay relevant to McHenry County.
This year’s essay topic is World War I. It ended exactly 100 years ago this past November, at the 11th hour of the 11th day. The effect of the Great War cannot be overestimated. It resulted in the destruction of empires (Germany, Russia, Austria-Hungary); caused “shell shock” in soldiers; led to the military draft (Britain in 1916 and the U.S. in 1917); introduced new weapons of war (the airplane, tank, submarine, machine gun and poison gas); contributed to antiwar protests, a woman’s right to vote, medical breakthroughs and an influenza pandemic; and led to the rise of the U.S. as a great power.
Explore the legacy of WWI, focusing on one or more of the aforementioned topics. How did it affect the people of Illinois and McHenry County? How did it change us as a society? What lessons does the “war to end all wars,” as President Woodrow Wilson called it, hold for the future?
Essays will be judged on content, grammar, historical accuracy, originality and their bibliography (students are expected to cite their sources). In some cases, interviewing a person about the topic is advised.
Applications are available online at gothistory.org and must be submitted by April 8.