1902-1903 Whitman Speech and Debate Team




Athenaeum and the Phrenakosmian Societies


Whitman News

I.                 Whitman College in 1902-1903

A.     Miss Cobb was hired as the new dean of women.

B.     Rev. Stephen B. L. Penrose was the college president.

C.    Mr. Lancaster was the student body president.

D.    Roberts Ringer was the debate manager.

II.               At Whitman College

A.     The Associated Students of Whitman College (ASWC) formally organized and held regular meetings under the guidance of President Lancaster.

B.     The Ladies Hall was officially renamed Prentiss Hall.

C.    Electric bells were installed in Billings Hall.

D.    A. J. Anderson, Whitman’s first president, died.

E.     President Roosevelt came to Walla Walla and stopped at Whitman, speaking briefly on the steps of Memorial Hall.

F.     The Pioneer ran advertisements for The White House, Inland Binding and Printing, the Hatch, and The Shoe Man.


Speech in the English Department News


An association to develop inter-collegiate debating was formed in 1898, including the University of Idaho, the Washington Agricultural College and School of Science, and Whitman College. Two an­nual debates are held each year under the Yale-Harvard debating rules.

To develop power and taste in oratory still further a College Oratorical Association has been es­tablished. This association is a charter member of the Inter-Collegiate Oratorical Association of the states of Washington and Idaho, embracing the Washington Agricultural College, the University of Idaho and Whitman College. The first contest oc­curred in Walla Walla, May 25, 1897.




The examination in English will consist of two parts:

Preparations for this examination should require three hours a week for four years. Formal Rhetoric should not occupy much time. Principles, not rules, should guide the student’s training. In both speaking and writing, affectation and artifi­ciality of all kinds should be discouraged, and the student should aim at simplicity, clearness and honesty in expression without anxiety concerning ornaments and graces.



IV. Demosthenes-D’Ooge’s De Corona. Hellenic history, oratory and statesmanship. Comparison of the world’s great orations.

Sophomore Course. Three hours a week during the second semester.




Professor Hauerbach.

RHETORIC (English Composition and Public Speaking)—

I. Theme-writing and Extemporaneous Speaking. The fundamental elements of written and oral expression are illus­trated by daily themes and constant exercise in speaking be­fore the class.

Freshman Course. Two hours a week during the first sem­ester.


III.              Analysis of Oratorical Masterpieces and a Course in In­terpretative Reading. Lectures on the development of oratory.

Freshman Course. Two hours a week during the second semester.


IV.             Theory of Rhetoric—A course in formal rhetoric from the standpoint of practical criticism. Text-book——Oenung.

Junior Course. Four hours a week during the first semester

V.               General Rhetoricals.—At least one essay, oration or de­bate must be prepared and handed in for criticism during each semester. At least one oration, declamation or debate must be committed to memory, rehearsed privately with instructor and publicly delivered during each semester. Each student will be called upon at least once each semester to speak extemporan­eously before the Rhetorical Class.

Required of all students in College Department except in second semester of Senior Year.


World News

A.     Coal miners throughout the United States were striking.

B.     John Rockefeller donated thousands of dollars to educational foundations, scholarships, and medical research.

C.    Record floods decimated most of the Midwest and the Mississippi Valley, causing millions of dollars in damage.

D.    “Bones of the dinosaur Tyrannosaurus Rex are discovered in Montana.”

E.     “A sheet glass drawing machine is created, making possible mass production of glass for windows.”

F.     Britain has won the Boar War. It creates the Union of South Africa and gives it Dominion (Commonwealth) status.”

G.    Japan and Great Britain signed a treaty of military alliance. The treaty provisions stated that if either country were attacked by another country, the co-signatory would maintain benevolent neutrality. If it were attacked by two or more countries, the co-signatory was committed to go to war on behalf of the ally.”

H.    “The Boers and the British signed the Peace of Vereeniging. The agreement was an acknowledgement of what was already a fact: British rule over South Africa.”

I.       “An Anglo-French agreement was signed that eliminated all points of friction between the two countries. The agreement served as the basis of an Anglo-French alliance.”

J.      Britain has been considering an alliance with Germany but refuses to tie itself to the German-Austrian alliance. Britain looks elsewhere, settling its differences with the United States and signing an alliance with Japan.”

Team News

H.E. Brown gets first in delivery in the 7th Annual Oratorical contest. S.E. Robinson, W.A.C. Wins the Championship.

Whitman defeats Pullman. They debated the question, "Would it be sound public policy for congress to legalize contracts permitting railroads to pool their earnings; provided that such contracts should be under the control of the Interstate Commerce Commission, which should have full power to examine said contracts and the accounts thereunto appertaining

The Oregon Weekly accuses Whitman of cheating in a debate between Whitman and University of Oregon. They thought the judges were biased in favor of Whitman.

Debate Results

A.     Two rival debate societies, the Athenaeum and the Phrenakosmian Societies, were completely autonomous of each other, had governmental structures, and met weekly to debate current topics and discuss aspects of debate.

B.     Edward Baldwin was the president of the Athenaeum Society.

C.    The Athenaeum and Phrenakosmian Societies debated each other on the topic “Resolved: That tribunals should be established with power to settle conflicts between capital and labor affecting public interest” to determine which debaters should be on the intercollegiate team, which often meant combining top debaters from each society. The Athenaeum Society won unanimously.

D.    The societies met again to debate “Resolved: That the present college course should be reduced to three years.” The Athenaeum Society again won unanimously.

E.     Nelson F. Cole won Whitman’s oratorical contest in a speech about David Livingston.

F.     Intercollegiate debate

1.     In January, the Whitman team of Cox, Campbell, and Ringer debated Oregon on the topic, “Resolved: That tribunals should be established with power to settle conflicts between capital and labor affecting public interest.” Whitman won.

2.     The Whitman team of Palmer, Galloway, and Price debated the University of Idaho on the topic, “Resolved: That personal property tax should be abolished.” Whitman won on the affirmative 2-1.

3.     Whitman on the affirmative debated Pullman on the topic of railroads and the degree to which railroad companies should be allowed to join forces and work together. The Whitman team of Baldwin, Ringer, and Brown won.

At the seventh annual oratorical contest, Whitman’s Hez Brown speaking on William of Orange lost to Washington Agricultural College’s competitor.