Six students were awarded prizes in three categories in the annual Public Speaking Competition on Saturday, March 7, in the Chapel. The finalists were chosen after an open preliminary round held in February. Speakers’ presentations were either persuasive or informative in nature, and in one category students were asked to address an assigned topic. Videos of the winning speeches can be viewed on the Public Speaking Competition website.

In the McKinney Prize competition, a prize is awarded to one student from each class for a 5-8 minute persuasive speech that is socially relevant and of interest to the extended Hamilton College community.

The 2014 McKinney Prize recipients and their topics are:
Class of 2015:  Erika Marte, “I Am Afraid of Being a Woman”
Class of 2016:  Hannah Ferris, “The Bilingual Advantage”
Class of 2017:  Joany Lamur, “An Invisible Injustice:  Disability at Hamilton College”
Class of 2018: Sarah Magee, “Taking the Next Step:  Fossil Fuel Divestment at Hamilton College”

The Clark Prize competition is open to all members of the senior class and calls for participants to address an assigned topic through both written and oral presentations. The 2015 Clark Prize recipient is Meghan O’Sullivan ’15, whose presentation was titled “Intersections at Home.”

The final prize category, the Warren Wright Prize in informative speaking, is open to those students who have enrolled in the college’s public speaking course. Participants also respond to questions from the audience, and their responses are included in the judges’ evaluations. The Warren Wright Prize recipient is Emily Kaplan ’15, whose topic was “The Truth Behind Suicide on College Campuses.”

More than $11,000 in prizes will be awarded to all winners on Class and Charter Day.

The Public Speaking Competition was organized by the Oral Communication Center.

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