Public Speaking & Writing Prizes

Public Speaking Prizes

The Clark Prize, established by Aaron Clark and increased by Henry A. Clark, Class of 1838, is awarded to that senior who is judged to be the best speaker in the annual Clark Oratorical Contest.

The McKinney Speaking Prizes, established by Charles McKinney, are awarded to the  four students, one in each class, who have been determined the best speakers in  competition.

The Earl H. Wright Prize for Excellence in Public Discourse and Advocacy was ­originally established by his son Warren Wright, with its legacy furthered by his ­grandson Scott Wright, Class of 1975. The prize is awarded to a junior or senior who has demonstrated excellence in these areas within the academic environment.

The Warren E. Wright Prize in Public Speaking, established by Robert S. Ludwig, Class of 1972, in honor of Warren E. Wright, the Upson Professor of Rhetoric and ­Oratory from 1977 to 1993, is awarded to that student who is determined to be the best  speaker in the annual Wright Prize competition.

Writing Prizes

The Dean Alfange Essay Prizes, established by Dean Alfange, Class of 1922, are awarded to the students who write the best and second-best essays on a feature or an issue of American constitutional government.

The Cobb Essay Prize, established by Willard A. Cobb, Class of 1864, is awarded to the student submitting the best essay on journalism.

The Cunningham Essay Prize, established by John Howard Cunningham, Class of 1866, is awarded to the senior submitting the best essay on some phase of the life of Abraham Lincoln.

The Adam Gordon Poetry Prize for First-Year Students, established by Walter I. Kass, Class of 1978, in memory of Adam Gordon, Class of 1980, is awarded for the best poem submitted by a member of the first-year class.

The Doris M. and Ralph E. Hansmann Poetry Prize is awarded in honor of Ralph Hansmann, Class of 1940, and his wife, Doris, by the Academy of American Poets. This prize is based upon the results of a competition involving 200 colleges and  universities.

The Head Essay Prize, established by Franklin H. Head, Class of 1856, is awarded for the best senior essay on a theme relating to Alexander Hamilton.

The Wallace Bradley Johnson Prize, established by alumni of the College in honor of  Wallace B. Johnson, Class of 1915, is awarded to that student who writes the best one-act play produced at the College.

The Kellogg Essay Prizes, established by Charles C. Kellogg, Class of 1849, are awarded to a junior, sophomore and first-year student, each of whom has excelled in English essays.

The Kirkland Endowment Essay Prize in Interdisciplinary Studies, established by the Kirkland Endowment Advisory Committee, is awarded to the student who writes the best essay on interdisciplinary studies.

The Raphael Lemkin Essay Prize was established by an alumnus in memory of Raphael Lemkin, a distinguished European academician, survivor of the Holocaust and inspirer of the United Nations Convention on Genocide. It is awarded to the student writing the best essay on a topic related to Mr. Lemkin’s concerns and reflecting his ideals.

The Pruyn Essay Prize, made possible by a fund set up in 1863 by former Chancellor John Van Schaick Lansing Pruyn of the University of the State of New York, is awarded to the senior or junior writing the best essay on “The Duties of Educated Young Citizens.”

The William Rosenfeld Chapbook Prize in Creative Writing was established in honor of William Rosenfeld, a member of the faculty from 1969 to 1995, who directed the ­programs in creative writing at both Kirkland and Hamilton colleges. Awarded to a graduating senior whose portfolio of poetry, prose fiction or drama is selected by ­faculty members in the Department of English, the prize provides for the publication of a ­chapbook of the student’s creative writing.

The Alfred J. and A. Barrett Seaman Prizes in Writing were established in 2001 by A. Barrett Seaman, Class of 1967 and a Trustee of the College, and by his father, Alfred J. Seaman, Jr. Recipients must be Sophomores who demonstrate excellence in writing, richness and clarity of thinking, and the ability to effectively communicate to a wide audience. These prizes are awarded at Convocation.

The Soper Essay Prize, established by Arthur W. Soper, Class of 1893, is awarded for the best essay written on a subject determined by the department in an economics course above the 400 level.

The Rose B. Tager Prize was established in 1984 by Steven M. Tager and is awarded to the student writing the best short story submitted in a competition.

The Todd Prize in Rhetoric and Mass Media, established by Charles Lafayette Todd, Class of 1933 and the Upson Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory at Hamilton from 1960 to 1977, is awarded to the student who writes the best essay on how electronic media influences political discourse and advocacy, thereby shaping public attitudes and behavior.

The George A. Watrous Literary Prizes, established by Mrs. Edgar W. Couper in memory of her father, who was an English teacher and scholar, are awarded in poetry, fiction and criticism, with an additional prize for the winner whose work is considered to be the most promising.

The John V. A. Weaver Prize in Poetry was established by Peggy Wood in ­memory of her husband and is awarded for excellence in a poem or poems submitted for consideration.

The Sydna Stern Weiss Essay Prize in Women’s Studies, established by the Kirkland Endowment Advisory Committee and named in memory of Sydna Stern Weiss, who taught German at Hamilton from 1974 to 1991, is awarded to the student who writes the best essay in women’s studies.

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