The Story of Speech at Dartmouth

Dartmouth boasts a storied tradition of influential speakers and influential speech professors, from Daniel Webster to Fred Rogers, Prof. James Winans to Prof. Merelyn Reeve. Early classes in rhetoric honored rhetoric’s position as one of the original liberal arts; current classes in rhetoric celebrate its disciplinary history while pushing theory and practice forward to meet the new challenges of modern contexts.

Speech began a new chapter at Dartmouth when it was incorporated into the newly created Institute for Writing and Rhetoric in 2008, after existing as the Office of Speech for several years. In its first year as part of the Institute, one Lecturer in Speech taught five Speech classes: three sections of Public Speaking and one section each of Persuasive Public Speaking and Speechwriting. In the next year, Dartmouth hired a second lecturer, and by 2012, Dartmouth’s curriculum had more than tripled its number of distinct Speech courses.

As the Speech curriculum grew, so too did the reach of Speech beyond the classroom walls. From its first year as part of the Institute through 2013, Speech professors presented more than 50 workshops or sessions on public speaking, discussion, argumentation, and speech theory.

Notable Speech Moments Since 2008

·      2008: Speech became a part of the Institute for Writing and Rhetoric, hiring a Lecturer in Speech

·      2009: Speech at Dartmouth welcomed a second Lecturer in Speech

·      2010: Speech at Dartmouth re-launched two historic speech contests: The Benjamin F. Barge and the Class of 1866 Prizes for Oratory

·      2012: Speech at Dartmouth began a series of presidential speechwriting events, with inaugural event guests Peter Robinson (speechwriter for President Reagan) and Don Baer (speechwriter for President Clinton)

·      2013: Speech at Dartmouth added its tenth Speech course to the curriculum, Image Rhetoric, more than tripling its curriculum in five years