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BU Hosts Nationally Known Speech Tournament

Bradley University is busy Sunday with the nation's largest collegiate speech tournament.
PEORIA – Hundreds of college students are spending their Sunday at Bradley University. They’re competing in the 66th annual LE Norton Memorial Collegiate Speech Tournament.

Students from 47 universities traveled from 21 states to be at Bradley University’s nationally known tournament. BU Director of Forensics, Ken Young, said, “The event that we have here is the biggest regular season collegiate tournament in the nation."

Young said students are showcasing their skills in several categories, like poetry and persuasion. “They craft those kinds of performance speeches to make some type of argument, lesson learned.”

Teaching a lesson is Kelli Halfman’s goal. The EIU junior is competing in the Public Address category. “Most people fear public speaking so it's nice to have that opportunity to just work on your public speaking skills and showcase them.”

Halfman has been at it for two years, but she said every tournament is a learning experience. Especially, this one at BU. “I mean having the opportunity to come and just show people at this tournament is wonderful."

Young’s students are the reigning national champions. BU has won more awards than any other college in the country. However, Sunday’s event is about more than them. “These 600 people are going to be staying at hotels and eating at restaurants so it's a win-win for them to come and see the Bradley campus and for us to provide a service to the community that gives us so much."

BU students did not compete Sunday, but it did provide them a chance to recruit. BU invited prospective high school seniors and community college students to take a look at its program.
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