May 15, 2008
WORCESTER Eight Clark University undergraduates each made powerful
presentations in the fourth annual Hervey Ross Oratorical Contest,
held April 8 in the Little Center Theatre.
The contest fosters the art of public speaking and oratory and is
open to all Clark students. The theme of this year's contest was
"Equality, Justice, Freedom." The eight finalists were judged on
their oratory skills as well as speech interpretation.
Senior Nicholas Kerwin earned first prize of $500. He skillfully
delivered "Examining Yourself," a speech given by Cornel West,
Princeton University Professor of Religion and African American
Studies, at Brown University in February 2007. Mr. Kerwin, who majors
in communication and culture with a minor in Spanish, also won the
award for audience favorite.
Second prize of $250 went to theater arts major Daniel Derks, a
junior who gave the "Yippie Workshop" speech by Abbie Hoffman in 1968.
Junior Robert Donnelly took third prize of $150 with his delivery of
British Prime Minister Tony Blair's keynote address from the 2007
Stonewall Equality Dinner. Mr. Donnelly is double-majoring in
international development and environmental science.
Visual and performing arts professor Gino DiIorio organized the
competition, in which students were asked to present a five-t
o-seven-minute speech originally performed by any world political
figure, including candidates for office as well as those involved in
Mr. Ross, who attended Worcester Academy and was a member of Clark
University's Class of 1950, sponsors the contest. After the speeches,
he spoke to the students about his love of public speaking and
experience winning a competition as a Clark freshman.
Also competing were juniors Hannah Salzman-Gubbay, Pamela Taylor and
Abhishek Raman, and seniors Patrecia Ming and Mary Townsend.