SEGOVIA – Yesterday evening kicked off the awards ceremony for the IE Foundation Prizes in Humanities. Awards were given in the categories of Poetry, Short Story, Faculty and Staff prizes, Short Essay, Video and Photography. The event was accompanied by the presence of our university’s founder, Diego de Alcázar, Carlos Mas, Mnamdi Ehirim, author of Prince of Monkeys, and hosted by Sofía Rondan.

Attending were the jurors of the competition, the winners of each category, family, and supporting professors. Encouraging classmates also dotted the audience, adding a buzz of excitement to the night. Admittedly, they were the loudest in the room whenever a colleague took to the stage. 

The 4th edition of the Prizes in Humanities saw 300 participants with over 800 works submitted. The ceremony opened with statements from Alcázar and Mas, followed by the presentation of awards. 

“We thoroughly believe that humanities […] expand our minds,” said Mas, marking the theme of the night as one that celebrated human endeavors. He emphasized the importance of promoting humanities as part of higher education. Alcázar called such an event essential to the institution we are a part of and was proud of the number of people who decided to exhibit their creativity during the competition. 

“[We want to] make our students better in a 360 degrees way by improving their human qualities,” declared Alcazar in his opening statement. Humanities remain a core value of IE, encouraging students to push their creative boundaries. The university seeks to give students a holistic educational experience that is not limited to the tools of each trade. 

“Culture is what remains when all the knowledge [is forgotten],” he said, quoting Swedish writer Selma Lagerlof. With these words in mind, the evening was dedicated to celebrating the creative talents honed in our university, despite the different degrees offered. Business to Architecture students showcased their creative capabilities and demonstrated the dimensions that make up our student body.

After the presentation of awards, the winners of each category were able to showcase their written pieces. The audience enjoyed a diverse array of writings from Irene Canovas’s poems to Adam Rose’s The Green-Eyed Man

Former IE student, social entrepreneur and guest speaker, Mnamdi Ehirim, spoke on the reconciliation of a business school and the arts, offering wisdom on how to incorporate humanities into one’s career. “[There is] no grand agenda from day one to be one or the other,” he said.

Ehirim’s dialogue with the head of the IE Foundation was a highlight of the evening. He shared about his experience in writing his book, Prince of Monkeys and the work he does back in Lagos for the rural areas of Nigeria. Ehirim is a graduate that has exemplified IE’s goals of a three-sixty degree education. 

He spoke about how humanistic exposure will allow our community to approach the world with a keen sense for the multidimensional challenges of the future: “Different art forms […] address different issues in different ways,” he said. 

The IE Foundation Prizes in Humanities wrapped up the night with a staple IE cocktail hour. Cheese plates and charcuterie boards lined the halls outside the Aula Magna. Attendees, speakers, and winners enjoyed a time to deepen their testimony through face to face interactions. The crowd thickened around the tables and outside in the courtyard, bringing the night to a close.

The event was a success and has left its guests expectant and excited for next year.