Today, ARI celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Anthem essay contest, which launched October 2, 1992. In its first year, ARI received 2,237 essay submissions from students. Fast forward twenty-five years and, to date, 257,708 essays have been submitted, and more than $300,000 in prize money has been awarded to students across the United States and around the world.

Click here to read the winning essay in the 2017 Anthem essay contest, submitted by Elisabeth Schlossel from The Spence School in New York, New York.

To highlight this milestone, we’d like to highlight comments from students and teachers who have read and been positively impacted by the novel’s thought-provoking themes.

 “As a student in today’s fast-paced society, Ayn Rand’s novels illustrate a set of morals that provide me with a clear-cut purpose and “why” in a life that can often become mindlessly rhythmic and meaningless.”

“A truly enlightening read; it completely changed my perspective on the ego.”

Anthem has been a huge success with my students, and has opened their eyes to many concepts they hadn’t considered before. I look forward to teaching it again and again.”

“Every time I teach one of Ayn Rand’s novels, I hear from a former student how it got them excited about her work or sent them off into a different direction of thought about the world.”

“I am so very excited about this. I only wish I had known of it sooner. These should all be required reading for all American students! These books will be used in my Social Studies classes as supplements to understanding about economics, government, socialism, and the Soviet Union. I will encourage other teachers in English and other courses to use these as a cross curriculum tool.”

Learn more about ARI’s annual essay contests for Ayn Rand’s Anthem, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, here.