Recently I had occasion, after a lapse of several years, to judge the oratorical contest in a college forensic tournament. The experience brought home to me forcibly the futility and ineptness of college oratory as currently practiced in the tournament situation. I hope it is not a sign of premature senility to observe that I do not believe college oratory is as good as it was twenty-five years ago, and that it has fallen completely from the heights it attained when it was the training ground for William Jennings Bryan and Robert M. La Follette, Sr. I do not believe that college oratory, as now conducted in most institutions, serves any useful function in our speech training program, or that any distinguish ed speakers of the future will attribute their success to participation in oratorical contests in college tournaments. There are no doubt exceptions—institutions in which real training in the skills of oratory is given—but they are certainly in the minority.
Lomas, Charles W.
"The College Oration and the Classic Tradition...,"
The Gavel of Delta Sigma Rho: Vol. 31:
4, Article 8.
Available at: https://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/gavel/vol31/iss4/8