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The Harvard University Expository Writing Program has announced that it received a $2 million endowment from the Sosland Family Foundation of Kansas City, Mo.
The money will go toward endowing the directorship of the Expository Writing Program and establishing a Sosland Prize to recognize outstanding writing among the first-year class.
"It's a pleasure to have the support and encouragement for various programs sponsored by the Expository Writing Program," said Nancy Sommers, now the Sosland Director of Expository Writing.
According to Sommers, the Sosland endowment will ensure the "continuity" of the Expository Writing Program. Interest from the endowment will go towards the funding for both the directorship and the writing prize.
The first Sosland prize was awarded on October 6 to Robert S. Hagan '98. He was selected as having written the best first-year essay submitted to the 1994-1995 issue of Expose, the Expository Writing Program's annual magazine.
The essay was titled "The Prophet and the Professor: Temptation of the Intellect in Flannery O'Conner." According to Hagan, the prize was a $500 award and a copy of Dante's Inferno.
The Sosland Prize may provide extra incentive for aspiring student writers, said Gordon C. Harvey, assistant director of expository writing.
"It'll give students a little extra push to give one last edit when they're writing their final draft," Harvey said.
The president of the Sosland Family Foundation, Morton I. Sosland '46, has a vested interest in both Harvard and in writing. With his brother Neil N. Sosland '52, Morton Sosland leads the Sosland Publishing Co., a family business founded in 1922.
"Our family decided to endow expository writing because of our own understanding of the importance of written communications," Morton Sosland told the Harvard Gazette this week.
"We hope our gift means the directorship will continue to be held by people of Nancy's caliber," Sosland said. "And that talented students like Rob will enjoy the pursuit of knowledge and effective communication through writing."
Sommers was appointed director of the Expository Writing Program in 1994.
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