February 1915: Shoghi Effendi wins first prize in a college contest

In February 1915 Shoghi Effendi won first prize in the Freshman - Sophomore Prize Contest - what for is not stated - awarded by the Student's Union. He was a good student, but he himself never claimed he had been considered a brilliant or outstanding scholar. There is a very great difference between a deep, wide, farseeing and logical mind and the quality of brain, spurred on more often than not by ambition and conceit, which wins acclaim from faculty and fellow-students. There was never any conceit in Shoghi Effendi's nature and no ambition. He was fired by a supreme motive - to serve 'Abdu'l-Bahá and lift some of the load of work and cares from His shoulders. In a letter dated 15 January 1918, addressed to Him from Beirut by Shoghi Effendi, he puts this in his own words: "I have resumed my studies, directing and concentrating all my efforts on them and doing my utmost to acquire that which will benefit and prepare me to serve the Cause in the days to come." Shoghi Effendi had just returned to Beirut from Haifa, evidently after the Christmas vacation period, and "arrived", he wrote, "happily and safely in the university" after weathering cold and rain on the way. Shoghi Effendi pours out, in every revealing phrase of this letter, "my love and longing for you" and ends: "I have sent you by post a piece of cheese, hoping it will be acceptable to Thee." He signed it "Thy lowly and humble servant Shoghi". When one remembers that during the war tens of thousands were estimated to have died of starvation in the Lebanon, this gift of a piece of cheese assumes different proportions. (Ruhiyyih Khanum, The Priceless Pearl, p. 25)