Hope College has announced four winners in the 25th annual Howard Plaggemars Essay/Poetry Competition, held for students enrolled in the 2006 Vienna Summer School.

All entries responded to some aspect of each student's experiences in Europe this past summer under the guidance of Dr. Stephen I. Hemenway, who has been director of the program for the past 31 years and is a professor of English at Hope. Howard Plaggemars of Holland, donor of the prizes, is a 1960 and 1961 alumnus of the Vienna Summer School, which celebrated its 50th anniversary this year.

All four winners are English majors at Hope.

First prize of $100 went to junior Lauren N. Eriks of Grand Rapids for "Wiener [Viennese] Encyclopedia: June 2006 Edition."

Two students tied for the second-place award: senior Megan D. Purtee of North Muskegon for "A Small Collection from an Overflowing Travel Journal" and senior Emily A. Wilson of Cedarburg, Wis., for her poem "The Culture of Shoes." Each received $50.

The third-place winner was junior Jeremy G. Benson of Royal Oak, who wrote two poems that tied for the $25 prize: "At the Concentration Camp in Mauthausen, Austria," and "And Pharaohs worried about the dryness of their skin."

This year's judges, who are all previous winners in the Plaggemars Essay/Poetry Competition, were Tom Bamborough, Christopher "McG" McGarvey and Dr. Elizabeth Trembley. Bamborough, a 1983 Hope graduate, is the principal of Bamborough Print Communication in Ada. McGarvey, a 2005 Hope graduate, is currently spending a second year doing volunteer work for Emmaus Ministries in Chicago, Ill. Trembley, a 1985 Hope graduate, is an associate professor of English and director of the FOCUS and SOAR programs at Hope, and a writer of scholarly works and popular fiction.

Consisting of two consecutive three-week sessions, the Vienna Summer School offers students a choice of work in art history, communication, economics, Austrian history, music history, German and Austrian literature, Eastern European literature and a Senior Seminar, all taught in English, as well as courses in the German language, taught in German. Students are housed with Austrian families, and are free to plan their leisure time and take weekend excursions led by Hemenway to places like Salzburg, Venice, Budapest, Prague and the Austrian Alps.