Hobbs Ranks Fourth Nationally in Prestigious Interstate Oratorical Contest

Elizabeth Hobbs, a senior biology and pre-education major from Newton, Kan., ranked fourth nationally April 22, at the prestigious Interstate Oratorical Contest, hosted by the University of West Florida, in Pensacola, Fla. Her performance is Truman's best in the recorded history of the forensics program and one of the best performances from a Missouri student in recent memory.

The Interstate Oratorical Contest is widely considered to be one of the most challenging contests of its kind. Each state may send no more than two students, usually selected at their State Championship Tournament. Hobbs qualified through the Missouri Association of Forensic Activities Championship in February. This year's contest included 49 competitors from 28 states.

Among the best-known former Interstate Oratory contestants (and ones who did not win), include former secretary of state and presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan, former senator and presidential candidate George McGovern, and former Vice President Hubert Humphrey. Past winners include Sen. Robert M. La Follette, a prominent leader in the Progressive Movement of the early 1900s. The contest has been held annually since 1875.

Hobbs' speech condemning the practice of extraordinary rendition by the United States government received widespread praise by the contest's judges and found itself in strong company in the final round with contestants from Kansas State University, Bradley University and Morehouse College.

This concludes the 2005-2006 forensics season. Truman will resume competition in the second weekend of September 2006.
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