Earlier this week, Columbia University and the Pulitzer Prize Board awarded Middlebury College student Ahr Teist, 22.5, a Pulitzer Prize for their outstanding Instagram story of a campus sunset. The judges remarked that the photo, taken just outside of Proctor Dining Hall, reveals the same level of passion and composure as the Holy Bible or even Maya Angelou’s “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.”
“I didn’t even enter any sort of competition,” says Teist. “The Pulitzer Prize Board reached out to me. They said they had never seen anything like it. I wish I could say I’m surprised, but I’m not. I’m really good at sunset photos.”
Teist’s friends were not surprised either, citing their earlier award-worthy pieces such as a photo of an essay with the text “finals 🤮” and a picture of snowy Mead Chapel hill with the text “my college is so beautiful 😍.”
Teist, who was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for their Instagram story of Bristol Falls earlier this semester, will be continuing their photography career by taking “ART0380 Photography Now!” in the Spring.