Merrifield Competition Winner

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

Chester Fritz Library


Christopher Price, a doctoral student in the University of North Dakota History Department, has won the 2010-11 Merrifield Competition.

Named in honor of Webster Merrifield, UND’s first librarian and third president, the Merrifield Competition awards a $1,500 scholarship for the most outstanding student research paper utilizing historic documents from the Chester Fritz Library’s Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections. A generous grant from the UND Alumni Association and Foundation enables the Library to hold this annual competition.

A native of West Virginia, Price graduated from West Virginia Tech with a bachelor of arts degree in history and government, and from Marshall University with a master of arts degree in history. Prior to moving to Grand Forks to pursue his doctor of arts degree, Price taught social studies at Calvary Baptist Academy in Hurricane, West Virginia.

His winning paper, “The First Baptist Church of Grand Forks and American Exceptionalism, 1881-1928,” examined the attitudes and actions of the congregation against the backdrop of the Progressive Era.

In his American Church History blog Price notes that he grew up going to Baptist churches and is a member of the Baptist History & Heritage Society.

“My interest really focuses upon the intersection of church and culture,” Price writes. “A secondary research interest I have involves labor history.”

A five-member jury reviewed the papers submitted for the Competition. The jury consisted of:

Curt Hanson, head of the Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections;

  • Crystal Alberts, English;
  • Albert Berger, History;
  • Graeme Dewar, Physics and Astrophysics;
  • Douglas Munski, Geography.

Hanson chaired the jury.

The papers were judged on quality of research, clarity of thesis and conclusion, writing skill, and the investigation of primary sources.

The Chester Fritz Library and the UND Alumni Association and Foundation sponsored the annual Merrifield Competition.