Celebration of the Humanities

Congratulations to the 2020 Celebration Winners!

Click here to see a list of our winners

The Celebration of the Humanities was the brainchild of Bob Mognis, Dean of the Literature and Language Arts Division. In 1977, with the support of instructors Bob Gauvreau, Shirley Woodward, David Dow, Jim Johnson, Ken Allen and Dan Petersen, the Humanities Contest was launched. From its modest beginnings-eleven total contests in the categories of Writing, Music, Art, Speech, and Photography the Humanities Contest has grown to comprise nineteen contests in nine categories. In time, with a wider vision of its potential, the Humanities Contest became the Celebration of the Humanities. For years the Celebration’s faculty steering committee was coordinated by Dan Onorato; later by Richard Serros, Mike Sundquist, Flora Carter, Deborah Barr, Chad Redwing, Jim Beggs, David Dow, Aishah Saleh and most recently Trevor Jackson.

With $300 of prize money awarded in each contest a budget of over $6000 per year, fundraising has been essential to maintaining the Celebration. A small amount of money comes from nominal entry fees, but donations from individuals are the largest source of support. Some donors choose to contribute for specific prizes or in honor or memory of a specific person. The MJC Foundation has provided generous additional financial assistance, and we so very grateful for them. Since Bob Mognis’s vision has become a reality,there have been hundreds of  students who have grown in confidence and purpose because they were honored for their excellence.


Forms:  How to Enter  and   Celebration of the Humanities Entry Form and 2019/2020 Rules Packet

Eligibility: All MJC students are eligible to enter all categories. All entrants must be or have been enrolled in at least one class at MJC during the 2019-2020 academic year (including summer 2019). Professionals cannot enter in their area of expertise. Students who have not enrolled in an MJC course by February 1, 2020 will not be eligible to enter the Celebration of the Humanities contest.

Registration: A $10.00 Entry Fee is required of all participants. Payment of the $10.00 fee allows students to submit any number of entries in any number of contests, subject to the limitations of the individual contests. In the event a contest is cancelled a student will be issued a refund.

  • Checklist For Entering A Work In The Competition:

Before Submitting Your Work: Please review this General Rules page and the instructions on the category page for each contest you are entering. 

Payment of Fees: Before you deliver your work, you must pay the $10.00 entry fee for the MJC Humanities Contest by going to the East Campus, Business Services Office. Ask to pay for the MJC Humanities Contest.
Business Services Office Hours: Monday – Thursday, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM • Friday, 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM. Until March 20, 2020

Registered work(s) for Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 must be submitted to the designated receiving area (see your specific contest rules) no later than 5:00 PM on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. A copy of the registration receipt is required to submit with each contest. The student should also retain a copy of the registration receipt for himself or herself as proof of payment.

Submissions: Bring your entry or entries and a copy of your registration receipt to the designated receiving area noted in your contest category instructions. Turn in a completed entry form for each work submitted.

Entry Forms: An entry form can be found online at mjc.edu/arts. It may be used for entry into any category or contest. One entry form is required for each work submitted. Complete the entry form, sign the form, submit a copy of the form for each contest, and keep a copy of the registration form for yourself.

Limitations: There are no limitations on the number of categories or contests entered unless stated so in rule packet of that category. However, participants may not enter a contest in which they have twice previously won first, second, or third place. All entries must be original unpublished works (unless otherwise noted) and cannot be under contract. Original works can be adaptations, but must be presented as such. A minimum of five entrants in most contests is required for a competition and the awarding of prizes. See specific contest rules for contest limitations and requirements.

Liability: Every reasonable effort will be made to safeguard the entrant’s work. However, Modesto Junior College, its staff, consultants, and volunteers are not responsible for property loss or damage through fire, theft, or any other cause. The contest committee reserves the right to publish the winning entries for promotional purposes related to the Celebration of the Humanities. By submitting an entry the student agrees that the Celebration of the Humanities has the right to disseminate all works in any way deemed appropriate as long as the student receives credit for his or her work.

Judges and Juries: Judges and juries are selected by the Celebration of the Humanities Committee. The decisions of the judges will be final. All winners are encouraged to attend the various festivities at which contest results will be announced. Checks will be mailed to winners by mid-May to the address on the registration form. Students CANNOT pick up award checks.

How to Enter  and   Celebration of the Humanities Entry Form

Donations - Help support the Arts! 

If you are interested in making a tax deductible donation to The Celebration of the Humanities please call the Arts, Humanities & Communication Division at 209.575.6081, email Jacquelin Wingett at wingettj@yosemite.edu.

You may also click here to make an online donation through the MJC Foundation.

Please select the Arts, Humanities & Communications Division!

Thank you for supporting the ARTS at Modesto Junior College


Past Celebrations

CoTH 2019
2019 Winners 

2018 coth poster
2018 Winners

2017 Winners

CoTH Poster 2016

2016 Winners


Last Updated 3.6.20