1998 Mount Rushmore
International Writing Contest

Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln:
Presidents with Visions for America

If they could speak today,
what might they say?

Third Prize: Adult Prose
Stuart J. Whitman
James Cook University,
Wulguru Townsville, Queensland, Australia
Winner: $100 U.S. Savings Bond

Jefferson and the Value of a 21st Century Education

The face of Thomas Jefferson stares with determination from Mount Rushmore. His confident gaze to the stars reminds us there is a destiny to which all human beings belong.

No president had quite as strong a faith in the potential of people as Thomas Jefferson. On the edge of the twenty-first century the words of President Jefferson speak just as clearly to us.

Jefferson was a man of science and education. These two fields of endeavour will be the pillars of twenty-first century society. President Jefferson would champion the information age as a great forum to cultivate education and advance the sciences to better the human condition.

The Internet would delight Jefferson. His boundless curiosity would have him exploring new ways to diffuse knowledge throughout the world. Education brings dignity and sets us free. Jefferson would caution that to realize these aspirations all people must have the opportunity to access this resource.

Jefferson would challenge us not to cower from the ocean of change that awaits us but to seize the abundant opportunities ahead. To promote the tools of education and science to shape our new world just as Jefferson shaped his own new world. To cast light into dark corners and conquer all tyrannies over the human mind.