TCU to compete in Battle of Flowers oratorical competition

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    Three Horned Frogs are preparing to speak at the nation’s oldest college-level oratorical competition.

    Stephanie Milligan, junior speech pathology major, Ashley Hodge, junior political science and communication studies major, and Daniel Salazar, senior journalism major, will be competing as semifinalists in the 90th Annual Oratorical Contest of the Battle of Flowers.

    According to the contest’s website, the competition has been held annually since 1926.

    The students will present their speeches on the topic: “Texas Marks the Spot! Exploring Our Treasured Past at ‘Texas Historic Sites.'” The speech must be a memorized informative speech lasting 10-12 minutes.

    Milligan won second place last year at the competition and said she is looking forward to returning for another win.

    “I did speech all through high school,” Milligan said. “I really, really love speaking in front of people. I was really excited that I got it again. It was an amazing experience last year.”

    This will be Hodge’s first year in the competition.

    “I got an email from them asking if I would be apart of it,” Hodge said. “I screamed and I was running around my house. I called my mom and my roommate came home and I screamed to her about it. It was just really exciting to know that all these people applied and I was one of the three that got chosen to go.”

    The TCU students will be competing against the other semifinalists from Texas. There are 10 semifinalists.

    The other schools represented are Southern Methodist University, Texas A&M University, Texas State University, University of Texas at Austin and University of Texas San Antonio.

    The 2015 cash prizes will be $3,000, $1,500, $1,000, $700, and $500 for the first through fifth place winners.

    First place will deliver his or her speech to members at the Battle of Flowers luncheon held during Fiesta Week (April 16-26). The winner will ride in the Battle of Flowers parade the following day.

    Fiesta Week is an annual event that has been held in San Antonio, TX since 1891. It began to honor the heroes of the Alamo and Battle of San Jacinto with a Battle of Flowers parade. The parade was a success and the tradition was born.

    Milligan said that Carrie Moore, a communication studies professor at TCU, will work with the students on their delivery until the competition day.

    The oratorical contest will be on Feb. 27, 2015 at the Witte Museum in San Antonio, Texas.