The Warren Wright Prize

Established in honor of Warren E. Wright, the Upson Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory at Hamilton from 1977 to 1993, this speaking prize was first awarded in 1993.


Open to all full-time students who have taken, or are currently taking the public speaking course, Rhetorical Act. In order to have a competition there must be at least four contestants for the preliminary round. Students who have previously won the Warren Wright award are not eligible.


This competition requires an informative speech rather than a persuasive speech. That is, each contestant's speech must focus on an issue that the public presently confronts and deal with that issue in a thoughtful manner. A typed, full sentence outline, including bibliography, is required at the preliminary round.


Preliminary Round 

A typed, full-sentence outline, including bibliography, is required at the preliminary round. Each competitor must present a three to five minute version of the speech at the preliminary competition. Each judge will assign a score for each competitor's presentation. Based on the highest total scores, a minimum of two but no more than three competitors will advance to the final competition round.

final round

Competitors present a six to eight minute informative speech. Following the presentation of the speech, each competitor is asked no more than two questions. Competitors have up to two minutes to respond to each question. Judges will assign a score based on each competitor's presentation anad response to the posed questions. The competitor receiving the highest total score will be determined to be the Warren Wright Prize recipient.


$6,500. The Warren Wright winner will be recognized at the Class and Charter Day ceremony.