Nearly two centuries ago, Hamilton began to distinguish itself as one of the nation's most prestigious and innovative liberal arts colleges by identifying its educational mission as the mastery of "rhetoric and elocution." That mission remains central to the College's educational philosophy today. It is evident not only in the campus-wide commitment to strong writing skills, but in the oral communication program, where students learn the speaking and critical-thinking skills that have produced some of the nation's most eminent diplomats, accomplished professionals, authoritative scholars and effective activists.
The Oral Communication Program holds a unique place in the Hamilton curriculum — neither a major nor a minor, but a rich and continuing resource for the entire College community. Oral communication courses prepare students for those studies and professional settings in which clear, credible, effective presentations and productive teamwork are crucial. Courses contribute variable credit toward graduation requirements and provide a variety of learning formats, from classroom discussion to lab training and fieldwork.