Hamilton's Top Orators to Compete on March 6

Hamilton's 2010 Public Speaking Competition will take place on Saturday, March 6, from 1-5 p.m., in the Chapel. Thirteen students will compete for three different prizes in this annual event: The McKinney Prize, The Clark Prize, and The Warren Wright Prize.

The Warren Wright Prize
Competition for the Wright Prize is open to all full-time students who have taken, or are currently taking one course in public speaking in the Department of Communication. The speech must be an informative (rather than persuasive) speech on a socially significant issue of current interest. 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. This year’s finalists are Jenn Anderson '10, Amanda Bowman '10, and Elijah LaChance '10.

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.

The McKinney Prize
Open to all full-time students, one McKinney Prize is awarded to each class. The topic will focus on a persuasive (rather than an informative) speech. The topic should have relevance and interest for a Hamilton College audience and should be presented in a manner appropriate for the occasion and setting. Finalists are: Class of 2010, Siraad Dirshe and Yan Kit Pang; Class of 2011, Jeffrey Cardoni and Ian Doran; Class of 2012, Xiaohan Du and Mai Linh Hoang; and Class of 2013, Trang Nguyen.

Charles McKinney signed an agreement in 1878 that allowed Hamilton to claim a portion of his estate for the purpose of establishing these prizes. His intent was to have the prizes "stimulate the undergraduates of said College to diligence and proficiency in that department [oratory]."

The Clark Prize
Open to the class of 2010, The Clark Prize is directed to all senior students in all disciplines on an assigned topic. This year’s topic is “Facebook: How much information is too much?” Finalists are Laura Holt '10, Yan Kit Pang '10 and Ben Tomaszewski '10.

The Clark 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.

Judges for the competition will include trustees, alumni, Hamilton faculty, administrators and staff, and representatives from other colleges. The event is free and all are welcome to attend.
Back to Top