Well-dressed Hillsdale students on stage after presenting their oratories

Hillsdale College’s 21st Annual Everett Oratory Contest Contemplates Role of Government in a Pandemic

The annual event featured original student orations

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Hillsdale, Mich. — Hillsdale College’s Office of the Provost and Department of Rhetoric and Public Address hosted the 21st annual Edward Everett Oratory Contest on March 9. Five student finalists presented classically modeled, original oratories on the proper role of government in a pandemic. Andrew Davidson, sophomore and philosophy major, won the grand prize of $3,000 for his well-structured, three-part policy argument. 

“Our students understand that the defense of liberty hinges on rational and compelling rhetoric,” said Kirstin Kiledal, professor and chair of rhetoric and public address. “The Edward Everett Prize in Oratory provides students the opportunity to move beyond the texts, talking points, rally cries, and presentation slides to address a topic of merit to a present audience through the form of an oration, full of style and substance, compelling in argument as well as delivery.”

Sophomore Ethan Tong won second place, and freshman Caleb Sampson won third. Other finalists included juniors Jean-Luc and Mattis Belloncle. The orators were judged by Larry P. Arnn, Hillsdale College president; David Whalen, professor and associate vice president for curriculum; and Paul Oehlke, adjunct professor of communication at Saint Cloud State University.

Edward Everett was a statesman, orator, and friend of Hillsdale College. The annual competition is endowed by the Saul N. Silbert Charitable Trust. Photos of the event can be found here.

Pull quotes from Andrew Davidson’s winning oration can be found here.

About Hillsdale College

Hillsdale College is an independent liberal arts college located in southern Michigan. Founded in 1844, the College has built a national reputation through its classical liberal arts core curriculum and its principled refusal to accept federal or state taxpayer subsidies, even indirectly in the form of student grants or loans. It also conducts an outreach effort promoting civil and religious liberty, including a free monthly speech digest, Imprimis, with a circulation of more than 5.5 million. For more information, visit hillsdale.edu.

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