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The Clark Prize

This prize was originally established through a gift from Aaron Clark in 1859. It was later reestablished in 1892 through a gift from the Fayerweather estate.


The Clark Prize is open to all senior students in all disciplines. 


The Clark competition requires a speech that addresses the assigned topic. The prize will be awarded to the senior who, through both content and delivery, most effectively addresses the assigned topic.

2021 Clark Prize Topic: 

“Is social media a waste of time?”

Final Round

Each final round competitor will present a six to eight minute speech. Speeches should not be read from a script. Each judge will assign a score for each competitor’s presentation. The competitor receiving the highest final score will be determined to be the Clark Prize recipient.


Competitors will be evaluated on the following components: 

Content and Organization
  • Content is relevant to speech prompt and maintains a focus appropriate for the audience (Hamilton community).
  • Clear organization was followed consistently throughout the speech.

  • Speech consistently used evidence that was appropriate for the topic (e.g., narrative, statistics) and was cited as appropriate.

  • Language use was appropriate for audience (e.g., avoided jargon) and occasion.

  • Logical connections were clearly made between ideas within the speech.

  • Speaker’s use of vocal qualities (volume, pitch, emphasis) enhanced the presentation.
  • Nonverbal behaviors (gestures and eye contact) enhanced the presentation.

  • Speaker was fluent (e.g., avoided fillers such as “um”) and conversational.

Overall Impression
  • The speaker was engaging throughout the presentation.
  • The overall presentation was consistently persuasive.


$2,500. The Clark Prize winner will be recognized at the Class and Charter Day ceremony.

Contact Information

Amy Gaffney

Oral Communication Center Director
Kirner-Johnson 222
315-859-4401 oralcomm@hamilton.edu


Aug 26 – Dec 13

S 3 p.m. – 10 p.m.

M 12 p.m. – 10 p.m.

T 12 p.m. – 10 p.m.

W 12 p.m. – 10 p.m.

T 12 p.m. – 10 p.m.

F 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.

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