The purpose of the
competition is to encourage oratorical skills among students in the spirit of
Dr. Martin Luther King and Mr. Joseph Vaughn, who was the first
African-American student to attend Furman University. Winners of the contest were selected by a committee of judges after delivering their 4-7 minutes long speeches. Judging criteria was based on the content, delivery, and language of the speeches. Prizes were provided by the Foundation through the generous contributions of our sponsors.
"Our judges had an extremely difficult task because all of the speeches were very good. The top speeches weren't separated by very much at all. That is a great testament to the talents we have in the Upstate", said Dr. Idella Glen, Assistant Dean of Diversity and Inclusion at Furman University. Dr. Glen was an instrumental part of the competition and served as co-Chair of the event. Judges also gave individual feedback to each participants to help them improve their oratorical skills.
Pictured: Kelseigh Redmon (1st place), Bro. Furman Jackson, Jackson Trice (3rd Place), and Destin Sayles (2nd Place).
The contestants in the competition received a $50 finalist prize and a certificate for participation. The Ten contestants are as follows:
The Competition was named after the first African-American Student who attended at Furman University, Joseph Vaughn. Starting in 1965, Mr. Vaughn proved to be a model student. An English major, he excelled in class, served as head cheerleader, coordinated important campus forums, and volunteered in the Service Corps. Witty and outgoing, he made friends quickly and easily. After graduating from Furman, Vaughn went on to earn master’s degrees from the University of South Carolina and the University of Georgia. From 1969 to 1982 he taught in the Greenville County schools, and in 1981 he was elected president of the South Carolina Education Association, a position he held for almost a decade. Joseph Vaughn passed away in 1991.