The winners of the 2024 Public Speaking Competition.
Six students won prizes in three categories at Hamilton’s annual public speaking competition held on March 1 in the Chapel. Presentations were either persuasive or informative in nature, and in one category, students addressed an assigned topic.

Watch the winning speeches

The Clark Prize competition, open to members of the senior class, calls for participants to address an assigned topic through both written and oral presentations. The prompt this year was: “Shakespeare’s Juliet mused ‘What’s in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet.’ For this year’s Clark Prize, answer Juliet’s question: What’s in a name?”

The winner is Lily Hirai ’24, whose presentation was titled “Hello my name is.”

The McKinney Prize is awarded to one student in each class year for a five- to eight-minute persuasive speech that is socially relevant and of interest to the extended Hamilton community.

The winners are:

  • Class of 2024, Emma Reilly: “Hannah Montana Said It First: Nobody’s Perfect”
  • Class of 2026 (tie), Amaris Martins: “The Injustice We Call Justice” and Grace Wilde: “The Consequences of Caring: A Look Into Our Mandated Reporting System”
  • Class of 2027, Nana Hayrumyan: “Lessons in Gratitude from a Republic That Was Lost Overnight”

The Warren E. Wright Prize competition is open to students who have taken the public speaking course Genres of Oral Communication. This competition requires an informative speech rather than a persuasive one, with the purpose to enlighten rather than to advocate.

The 2024 Wright Prize recipient is Eric Moss ’24 with the topic “Nature=Nurture: The Benefits of Spending Time Outdoors.”

Winners will be awarded prizes on Class & Charter Day. The Oral Communication Center organized the Public Speaking Competition.

Express Yourself

Developing the ability to communicate in a clear, organized and effective way is a central goal of a liberal arts education — and a prerequisite for a successful career. Hamilton is one of only three top liberal arts colleges with an independent Oral Communication Center.

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