TCU Orators to Compete in Battle of Flowers Contest

By Jenni Royston, News and Media Studies major, Class of 2020

Two TCU students are headed to San Antonio this month to compete in the annual Oratorical Contest of the Battle of Flowers competition in San Antonio, Texas: Michael Brown and Cage Sawyers. Brown is a senior communication studies and entrepreneurial management double major and Sawyers is double-majoring in political science and business.

A photo of Michael Brown, a TCU student competing in the Battle of Flowers Oratorical Contest.

A photo of Michael Brown, a Schieffer College student competing in the Battle of Flowers Oratorical Contest.

This is the 95th year of the Oratorical Contest of the Battle of Flowers, one of the oldest and most prestigious competitions in the state of Texas. The Battle of Flowers has a different topic each year based on Texas history. This year’s theme is “Texas Tough – How Texas’ Military Leaders Shaped the State, Nation and World.” Brown’s speech is titled “A Tiger by the Tail: Tex Hill and the Flying Tigers” and Sawyers will talk about “Rails & Hails: Sidney Sherman – The Man Heard ‘Round the World.”

Carrie Moore, a communication studies instructor, has been prepping students for this competition since 2013. This will be Brown’s third year competing, placing fourth and second in the last two years. He said Instructor Moore was the reason he got involved with the competition. “Mrs. Moore really took me under her wing and has pushed be to be a better speechwriter, presenter and student,” said Brown.

Sawyers also praises Instructor Moore for teaching him the oratorical skills needed for the competition. “The skills she builds and the style she preaches has prepared me to be successful in any oration setting. She is one of the biggest assets to Schieffer and has had a huge impact on my abilities,” he said.

Brown said the College of Communication is top-notch when it comes to events such as the Battle of Flowers. “My writing and delivery are leaps and bounds better now. That is a testament to the communication curriculum and the quality of facility within the Schieffer school.”

Each contestant must write and completely memorize a 10- to 12-minute speech and write an abstract explaining their topic.

A graphic advertising the "Texas Tough" theme of the 95th Annual Oratorical Contest of the Battle of Flowers in San Antonio, Texas on February 21, 2020.“The competition is so difficult because not only do you have to be an accomplished writer and an expressive presenter, but you have to memorize so much content,” said Brown.

The 95th annual Oratorical Contest of the Battle of Flowers will be held February 21 at the Witte Museum in San Antonio. The winner of the Oratorical Contest will get to ride on a float during San Antonio’s Fiesta Week in the Battle of Flowers Parade.