Edith P. Gronhovd Peace Essay Awards

The purpose of this peace essay effort is to encourage young people to think seriously about peace and how it matters in our world today. It is also to publicly acknowledge any outstanding entries. The awards have been made possible by the generosity of Edith P. Gronhovd and by the Gronhovd Family. (Note: Edith Gronhovd won a similar peace essay competition as a young woman.)


Eligibility is limited to students in good standing in high schools and colleges or universities in the wider Billings region. There are separate awards with separate judging for high school and college levels.

Please inquire at the Peace Institute’s office at (406) 657-1042 if there are questions regarding eligibility.


Required for consideration – Entries are to be typewritten, size 12 font, double spaced, with a minimum of three full pages for high school submissions and four full pages for college. Charts, photographs, etc. may be added but not counted as part of the required pages. Essays must include the following information on a separate cover page: Name, complete home mailing address, email, telephone number, and name of school.

Do not identify the author within the essay. Note identification only on the cover sheet. Quotations and use of all sources must be acknowledged. Acknowledgement may be in any format desired. Entries are to be in the Institute office by February 15, 2019.

View essays by previous winners.

Peace Essay Award
Essay Themes / Suggestions for 2019

Based on educational time constraints, we are suggesting this may also be considered for class curriculum. English, Creative Writing, History, Political Science, Art, Environmental Science, and Biology would be examples of courses offering material from which to draw. Clubs such as Amnesty International or cultural exchange groups could also provide a wealth of insight, leading to a winning essay. Please submit only unmarked, ungraded essays that meet all format requirements.

Peace is the overall theme – Topics are open

Suggested themes = Politics and Consensus, Peace in the Classroom, Business Ethics, The Environment’s Role in a Peaceful World, or My Path to Inner Peace.


Awards for 2019 will be made on Friday, April 5, at the Spring Fling Benefit Dinner held at First Presbyterian Church. 

Winners are required to be in attendance. Should there be a documented, unanticipated circumstance beyond a student’s control, someone may accept in person on their behalf.


Essays will be judged on the basis of insight, originality, accuracy, and organization. Judges for this competition will be selected for their personal and professional background and sensitivity to subject matter. They will be independent of the Institute for Peace Studies. All decisions of the judges will be final.


(separate awards for high school/college)

1st Place - $300
2nd Place - $250
3rd Place - $200

Thank you to the family of Edith Gronhovd who continue to support this region wide effort and also this very special evening of recognition. They generously provide cash awards to our winning student essayists. Thank you to Lorraine Marsh (in memory of Steve Marsh). The Marshes were both educators and continue to be strong supporters of the essay competition.

Edith Peterson Gronhovd February 1917 – November 2007

Edith Gronhovd was active in every community in which she lived, working as a volunteer for Girl Scouts, YWCA, AAUW, Church Women United, the Congregational Church, Mental Health Association, League of Women Voters, and numerous causes for peace.

Some of her efforts were recognized with an honorary doctorate from Rocky Mountain College, the Institute for Peace Studies’ Jeannette Rankin Peace Award, NSFRE Philanthropist of the Year citation,
YWCA Salute to Women Award, and the Girl Scouts of America 50-Year Award.

Through the Edith Gronhovd Peace Essay Competition, Edith continues to challenge our youth to consider the avenues for peaceful resolution to conflict. We remain in her debt.