Students prepare for Texas’ oldest and most prestigious oratorical contest

By Christina Ligi, News and Media Studies major, Class of 2019

photo of Carrie Moore, Instructor II in the Bob Schieffer College of Communication

Instructor II Carrie Moore

Since 2013, Communication Studies Instructor Carrie Moore has developed success in San Antonio’s Annual Battle of Flowers Oratorical Contest. She has been a consistent mentor and guide for these students in preparation fro this competition.

According to the event’s website, this contest is one of the oldest university and college level competition in the state of Texas. Since 1926, the topic of the competition highlights Texas history. This year, the contestants will be speaking on “The Lone Star Story: An Epic Saga of the Events that Changed Texas Forever.”

Once the students are provided the theme, they are required to write a one-page abstract about their particular topic for consideration. The Battle of the Flowers panel reviews all submissions and selects 10 to 12 entries for the semi-final round. Rules state only three students per university are eligible for the semi-final round.

This long-standing tradition takes place during San Antonio’s Fiesta Week and the winner of the Oratorical Contest will ride in one of San Antonio’s largest and highly recognized events, the Battle of Flowers Parade.

This year, three students will be representing TCU, two of whom major in the Bob Schieffer College of Communication. Michael Brown, a junior communication studies and entrepreneurial management major, Michael Gonzalez, senior communication studies major and Camryn Sutton, sophomore political science major. Brown competed in last year’s competition and was awarded fourth place and a $750 scholarship.

When asked what initially persuaded him to enter the contest, Brown says, “Somehow, as a klutzy freshman I mistakenly ended up taking a senior-level communication elective, Advanced Public Speaking, with Instructor Carrie Moore. She watched me give a speech and encouraged me to apply for this contest. “

Brown’s favorite part of this competition is that it combines his two favorite areas of study: history and speech.

Brown’s goal is for the audience to connect with the story. He states, “My speech this year is about the people at NASA and it is incredible to learn of the hard work they have devoted their entire lives to. They are what is important about this speech.I am nothing more than a message carrier for the amazing lives they have lived.”

Instructor Moore’s expertise and professionalism has impacted Brown on and off the stage. He states, “She has been an amazing mentor to me and I would not be the speaker I am without the help of Mrs. Moore. This honor is much more of a testament to her teaching ability than my speaking ability.”

The 94th Annual Battle of Flowers Association Oratorical Contest will take place February 22, 2019 at the Wittie Museum in San Antonio, Texas. The preliminary round will begin at 9 a.m. and the final round will begin at 1:15 p.m.

Click on the tiles below to learn more about each contestant:

photo of Michael Brownphoto of Michael Gonzalez, communication studies majorphoto of Camryn Sutton, a political science major