Congrats to the speakers and prize-winners!
Impromptu, and Spontaneous Argumentation: “Jersey Boys” Julia Price, Vaughan Supple, David Factor, and Husam AlZubaidy
2-Minute DJ: Joey Disorbo
Great Dictation Relay: “California Girls” Alex Myers, Josh Harkins, Joey Disorbo, Jonah Joseph
World Listening Champ: Jonah Joseph
Rants & Raves: Camiel Schroeder
Overall Team Champs, by virtue of a Tie-breaker: California Girls!
Solo Champ: Jonah Joseph, with Professor Pam Berenbaum!
And big thanks to Faculty Speakers: Stefano Mula, Tara Affolter, and Katharine DeLorenzo, and Student speakers Charles Moore, Firdaus Shallo, and Brandon Morales.
What’s an amazing song you think everyone should listen to? You’ve got 2 minutes to convince us yours is the one. Go!
World Listening Championship
The Oratory Lab has developed the world’s first competition designed to test your listening skills. Everyone loves a good listener, so be the first and feel the love!
Rants & Raves
Think of something you absolutely cannot stand and something else you absolutely love. Can you get your audience to care as much as you do?
Finale: PowerPoint Roulette
Team up with a faculty member to test your PowerPoint improv skills! Student-Professor pairs will take turns delivering a lecture responding to slides they’ve never seen before.
In our BS version of SPontaneous ARgumentation, we’ll combine classic debate structure with a ludicrous prompt and a ridiculously short amount of time to make your case -- just 60 seconds per speaker. Oh, and only 2 minutes to prepare. Quick, persuade us!
Great Dictation Relay
Each speaker gets 60 seconds to record as many words as possible using dictation software. But there’s a catch: If the software transcribes a wrong word, you’re done, and the 60-second clock starts for the next speaker.
This one gets zero prep time: a topic will be read and bang, you and your team begin! We’ll finalize a time limit on the night, but you can probably figure between 2 and 4 minutes total per team.
Finale: Top secret. Shhh!
2019 Championship Preview Video
by Dan Levesque '21.5
Reviving an Old Tradition
The competition was founded, and partly funded, by Middlebury’s first professor, Frederick Hall. When hired in 1806 he was immediately granted a two-year leave to study in Europe. While there, he was befriended by Daniel Parker, a wealthy American living in Paris. When Hall fell ill, Parker lent him $180 to tide him over. Parker refused to accept repayment, so Hall gave the sum (along with $120 of his own money) to Middlebury College as a prize for undergraduates who excelled in public speaking.
In 1855, local pastor Thomas A. Merrill added his name to the prize, seeking to recognize “the student who has excelled his competitors in the care and gracefulness of his manner, in the intonations and modulations of his voice and in the propriety and elegance of his manners.”
Our last record of the annual Parker Merrill Competition, before we revived it in 2016 is the May 27, 1965 edition of The Campus.