YIG Supreme Court: Justice Frank F. Drowota, III Essay Contest


The Justice Frank F. Drowota, III Essay Contest is sponsored by the Tennessee Supreme Court Historical Society. One winner will be selected for a $250 prize. The due date is March 15.

Background Information on the retirement of Justice Frank F. Drowota, III

The legacy of Justice Frank F. Drowota, III

For Justice Frank Drowota, involvement in the YMCA was a family affair that began before he was ever born. Drowota often credited the YMCA in South Carolina with changing the course of his father’s life in the 1920s by inspiring him to become a minister. Years later, when the family relocated to Nashville to start a church, one of the first things they did was join the Y, where a young Frank Drowota later learned to swim and where he continued to be a member into adulthood as he and Claire raised children of their own, who played youth sports at the Y.

In 1991, Drowota joined the YMCA of Middle Tennessee’s Board of Directors, and so began decades of service as a volunteer leader. His contributions to the nonprofit organization are countless, though chief among them was his commitment to developing a permanent YMCA day and resident camp in Middle Tennessee. That dream became a reality with the construction of the YMCA’s Joe C. Davis Outdoor Center, home of Camp Widjiwagan—a camp Drowota’s grandchildren got to enjoy and that continues to provide magical experiences to thousands of children each year.

Drowota went on to become Board Chair for the YMCA, remained a staunch supporter of our Youth in Government program and continued to serve as a dedicated volunteer leader until his death. It is fitting we honor his memory through the naming of our Supreme Court Component and the introduction of this essay contest.

Essay Prompt


Write an essay about the significance of the historic lawsuit begun in Dayton, Tennessee in the 1920’s, called the “Monkey Trial” or the “Scopes Trial” or the “Scopes Monkey Trial.”

Topics to discuss:

What was the Tennessee law that caused the lawsuit to be filed? Why was the lawsuit filed? Tell about Mr. Scopes, who was the Plaintiff in the lawsuit. Tell about the organization that urged the filing of the lawsuit. Tell about the judge who presided over the lawsuit. Describe what went on in Dayton in connection with the lawsuit, and what is interesting about the trial. Describe the attention the lawsuit received in the national media. Tell about the famous lawyers who represented Mr. Scopes and the Defendant, the State of Tennessee. Describe the outcome of the trial in Dayton. Tell about Chief Justice Grafton Green, who authored the Tennessee Supreme Court case that resulted from this lawsuit: Scopes v. The State. Analyze the Supreme Court case. TN Supreme Court's Original Opinion. What is the historical significance of the case? Do you agree or disagree with the Supreme Court’s opinion? Explain your reasoning.

Sources: There are numerous articles about the Scopes Monkey Trial online. Search “Monkey Trial” or “Scopes Monkey Trial.” For example: https://www.history.com/topics/roaring-twenties/scopes-trial;







Don’t limit yourself to these articles! Be creative and dig for information!

Essay Guidelines

Length: Maximum of approximately 1,500 words

Paper: 8-1/2” x 11” letter size paper

Font: Times New Roman 12-point; footnotes (if any) 10-point

Spacing: Double spaced; footnotes (if any) single spaced

Margins: 1 in. top and sides; ½ in. bottom; right margins justified

Page Numbers: Centered, bottom of page

Quotations: Double indent and single space quotations over 50 words


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