Student to be keynote speaker at annual Honors Convocation

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    In pursuit of a speaker for the Honors Convocation, university officials did not have to look far.

    Addressing the topic, “Living a Facebook Life in a Google World,” senior honors student Preston Swincher will be the first student to ever be the featured speaker at the Honors Convocation, a university official said.

    Ron Pitcock, assistant director of the Honors Program, developed the idea to select a student speaker. Pitcock said he is constantly amazed at the intelligence of the honors students he interacts with.

    “I am regularly struck by the ways in which they present their ideas, which led me to believe that this was a possibility,” he said.

    Honors Convocation
    When: 11 a.m. Thursday
    Where: Ed Landreth Auditorium
    Admission is free and open to the public.

    Swincher, a senior entrepreneurial management and musical theatre major and honors student, was the winner of the Honors Program’s first oratorical competition. Pitcock chose the topic and gave students the freedom to expand their speech in any direction they wanted. The competitors gave their speeches before a panel of judges, who looked for a speech with academic merit that would challenge an audience, Pitcock said.

    Swincher said he entered the oratorical competition because he found the topic of the Internet’s global and personal influence intriguing. He said he hopes his speech, titled “How the Internet Crashed Our Party,” will get the audience thinking about something they have never thought about before.

    “My speech is about how the Internet is bringing everyone in the world closer together in a global way and how that is going to change the way we, as a consumer society, relate to other nations and societies that are less fortunate than us,” he said.

    Swincher said he is more excited than nervous to present his speech at Honors Convocation.

    “My performance experience has made me unafraid to speak passionately about something,” he said.

    Nate Arnold, a senior business information systems and marketing major and honors student, said he is looking forward to listening to a peer speak, especially on the subject of technology.

    “I think he will be able to relate to the topic and to the students in the audience better than an outside speaker would,” Arnold said. “Having a student speaker really highlights the hard work of the honors students.”