The Warren Wright Prize

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.


Open to all full-time students who have taken, or are currently taking the public speaking course, Rhetorical Act. In order to have a competition there must be at least four contestants for the preliminary round. Students who have previously won the Warren Wright award are not eligible.


This competition requires an informative speech rather than a persuasive speech. That is, the purpose of the speech should be to enlighten rather than to advocate. 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. The speech should not be read from a script.

A typed outline — not an essay or complete script — including bibliography, must be submitted to pubspeak@hamilton.edu by 9 a.m. Monday, February 15, 2016.


Preliminary Round 

Each competitor must present a three to five minute version of the speech at the preliminary competition. Each judge will assign a score for each competitor's presentation. Based on the highest total scores, a minimum of two but no more than three competitors will advance to the final competition round.

final round

Competitors present a six to eight minute informative speech. Following the presentation of the speech, each competitor is asked no more than two questions. Competitors have up to two minutes to respond to each question. Judges will assign a score based on each competitor's presentation anad response to the posed questions. The competitor receiving the highest total score will be determined to be the Warren Wright Prize recipient.


$6,700. The Warren Wright winner will be recognized at the Class and Charter Day ceremony.