The state of Indiana has a distinguished history as a premiere location for intercollegiate forensics competition. In 1874, Wabash joined Asbury, Butler, Hanover, Indiana, and Purdue to form the first Indiana oratorical association. That tradition continues today through the Indiana State Individual Events Tournament. The 2008 State Tournament was held Saturday February 23 at the University of Indianapolis
All five Wabash College students who participated in the tournament earned at least one award, propelling Wabash to a fifth place finish. Leading the way was Parliamentary Union’s Speaker of the House, Grant Gussman ’09, who earned Wabash’s first varsity state championship in a number of years by winning Impromptu speaking. Gussman also finished third in the state in Extemporaneous speaking. Sophomore Victor Nava, Vice President of the Parliamentary Union, returned to Crawfordsville with two fourth place finishes—one in Extemporaneous speaking and the other in Poetry.
Robert Bloss ’09 also had two award winning performances. In addition to a fifth place finish in poetry, Bloss captured third in the experimental event, Biographical Informative, for his oration on long-time Wabash College Speech Professor W. Norwood Brigance. In his first tournament experience with a cutting from Of Mice and Men, Kevin Travis McLaughlin ’09 finished sixth in Dramatic Interpretation while Steve Ellis ’09 retired his Prose piece by finishing sixth in the event.
The Parliamentary Union will conclude its 2007-08 tournament travel schedule by attending the DSR-TKA national tournament at the University of Florida, March 6-9. The College will be represented by Bloss, Ellis, Gussman, and McLaughlin at the competition.