Whitman Dovell-Gose Oratory

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How did the Dovell Gose Oratory Contest start?

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Description: Description: Description: Description: dovell

William Thomas Dovell




The annual Dovell-Gose Oratory Contest.


The Dovell-Gose prizes in Oratory were established in 1918 by alumni members of the Board of Overseers in memory of William Thomas Dovell of the class of 1888 and Christopher Columbus Gose of the class of 1886.


Dovell was born in 1869 and, following his graduation from Whitman and two years reading law, was admitted to the Washington State Bar. He practiced law in Walla Walla as a partner in the firm of Thomas and Dovell, served as city attorney, and held various court posts.


Gose came to Walla Walla from Sullivan County, Missouri, in 1865 and was a member of Whitman's first graduating class. A deputy sheriff and county treasurer following graduation, he later was elected county sheriff. In 1895, Gose was admitted to the Bar and associated with his brother T.P. Gose in law practice here. He later was elected president of the State Bar Association, was a member of the Republican National Committee and served one term in the Washington State Legislature.

In 1927, the Dovell-Gose prizes were combined into one contest (they had been two contests prior to that).

In 2002, separate men and women’s divisions were combined into one event with 5 winners declared with additional honorary mentions regardless of gender.

In 2004, in recognition of the large number of high quality participants, eight winners and cash prizes for everyone were established.

Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: 1913-1914 Christopher Columbus Gose


Until the early 1950s, there was the John Brining Extemp Contest for first year students. It no longer exists.



Questions? Please contact us at debate@whitman.edu