1908-1909 Whitman Speech and Debate Team




Description: Description: 10-11 Prof

Norman Frank Coleman and George Maquis plus the debating societies: Phrenokosmian,, Libethrean, Philolithian and Athenaeum Societies


Description: Description: 08-09 Pacific Team


Whitman News

I.                 Whitman 1908-1909

A.     The college added seven new faculty positions, one football coach and one matron.

1.     H.G. Merriam, Rhodes Scholar, took up Dean Hendrick’s work in the English Department.

2.     Miss Hugena Thompson joined the college as instructor of oratory and expression, as well as superintendent of the Department of Physical Training for Women.

3.     The Conservatory added five new instructors: Odessa D. Sterling, teacher of piano; Mr. Ashley James Jackson, director of the Department of Wind Instruments and instructor of piano tuning; Miss Helen Ingalls, teacher of piano and Dean of Prentiss Hall; Miss Marjorie Lyman, instructor of piano; Miss Amy J. McCown, recent graduate of the Conservatory will instruct in organ.

4.     J. Merrell Blanchard joined the college as football coach.

5.     Miss Hatch was the new matron in Billings Hall.

B.     John C. Lyman was the student body president.

C.    Professor L.F. Anderson was acting college president in President Penrose’s absence (who went on a national tour to raise money for the school). Anderson retained his duties in the Greek Department as various committees absorbed many of the President’s responsibilities.

D.    Frank Fletcher was the president of the Debate Council and the Athenaeum Literary Society.

E.     Otto B. Johnson was president of Phrenokosmian Literary Society.

F.     Natalie Soules was president of Libethrean Literary Society.

G.    Bertha Whitney was president of Philolithian Literary Society.


II.               At Whitman College

A.     The most significant issue of the year was the national travel of President Penrose and Dean Hendrick to secure a 1 million dollar sum for creation of the New Whitman. The Yearbook states that, “The College must be made… the representative education institution for the whole Northwest.” The proposal included the addition of a Technology Department, a School of Forestry and Irrigation, a school of art, and a Department of Commerce and Banking.

B.     Mr. Ashley James Jackson was responsible for bringing the following four music events to Whitman: the New York Metropolitan Opera Quartette, Emilio DeGogorza, Arthur Hartmann, Mme Gadski.

C.    Football was a big focus for the Whitman community. Track, baseball and basketball also received attention.

D.     The Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) and Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) were very active on campus.

E.     Dr. Pearsons, Chicago philanthropist and Whitman’s “Grand Old Man,” so named for the loan he provided Whitman for debt extradition purposes and later forgave, visited the College.

F.     Mr. S.H. Mathews and his wife gave a 50,000 gift to the college for scholarships.

G.    Miss Margaret Denny also gave a gift of 50,000 to the College.

H.    The Pioneer ran ads for ammunition, guns, home furnishings, ice cream and The Farmers Bank.

I.       For women, period dress entailed full, long, dark skirts of wool or thick cotton. White or cream blouses with high ornate necklines over corsets. Jackets, hats and neckwear were in style for women. For men, dark suits with ties were in style.


Description: Description: 1908-09 Debate Records


Description: Description: 1908-09 Intersociety Debate


Speech in the English Department News



2.  Advanced Composition.

A further course in practical composition for students who de­sire special training in addition to that afforded by Course 1. Short daily themes or a longer weekly composition are written throughout the year. A student is encouraged to develop his aptitudes with a view to possible literary work in after life. Each students work is subject to the criticism of the crass as well as to that of the instructor. Regular conferences are held.


Two hours, both semesters.


Open to students who have completed Course 1, and who have received permission from the instructor.


5.   Public Speaking.

A general course in vocal training, the use of the voice in speak­ing and reading, the elements of interpretative reading, with practice in the preparation and delivery of declamations and short speeches.


One hour, both semesters. (P., at S :00)


Open to all students.


Required of all candidates for the. baccalaureate degrees.


6.   Advanced Public Speaking.

A study of the chief forms of public speech, with the analysis of master-orations and practice In the preparation and delivery of speeches.


Two hours, first semester. (P. Tb., at 3:15)


Open to students who have completed Course 5.


4.   Argumentation.

A study of the processes of argument by analysis and construc­tion; writing of arguments, oral debates, individual criticisms and interviews.


Baker, Principles of Argumentation.


Two hours, second semester. (P. Tb., at 5:15)


Open to students who have completed Courses P and 6.


7.   English Literature.

A history of the literature from Anglo-Saxon times to the present. This course is designed as an introduction to the later and more detailed study of literature; in a period or in the work of.


THE CLASS of 1906 PRIZE FOR DEBATING, consisting of books to the value of thirteen dollars, is to he awarded annually to the leader of the first intercollegiate debating team. This team is chosen in the annual contest between the Athenaeum and Phrenokosmian Societies.



            The Athenaeum and Phrenokosmian Literary Societies, meeting weekly, furnish opportunity to the young men for profitable practice in the important work of debate and public speaking.



Miss Thomson

Opportunity is offered for the study of Elocution, Oratory, and Dramatic Art.


Description: Description: 1908-09 Oratory Record


World News


      A. “Austria unilaterally announces the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.” *

B. “The Turkish Sultan Abdul-Hamid II was forced to accede to the demands of the Young Turks, a group of army officers who demanded that constitutional rule be restored in Turkey.” * 

      C. “Assassins killed King Carlos of Portugal, as well as his son and heir, Prince Luis Filipe.” *

D. “The Bulgarian Principality declared its complete independence from the Ottomans. Prince Ferdinand established a monarchy and became the first King of Bulgaria.” *

E. “The Congo Free State, which had been the private property of Belgian King Leopold II, became an official Belgian colony.” *

      F. “After a month on the Arctic ice, Robert Peary became the first man to reach the North Pole.” *

G. “The National Conservation Commission was an outgrowth of a very successful White House Conference on conservation. The Commission received the full backing of President Roosevelt. The President was fully committed to the concept of preserving the environment.” *

H. “In 1908, the Singer Building, in lower Manhattan, was completed. It was the first true skyscraper, reaching 47 stories.” *         

I. “A large deposit of oil was discovered in Southwestern Iran.” *

      J. “First airplane passenger killed.” *


Description: Description: 1908-09 Wearers of the W


Team News



Description: Description: 08-09 Roy Cahill

The class of 1906 began in the year after their graduation to give each year to the best debater in college, as determined by the intersociety debate, a prize of thirteen dollars' worth of books. The prize was awarded this year to Roy R. Cahill, '09. Cahill had never debated before, yet in the inter- society contest and later in the Pacific debate his work was of a high class. Especially in rebuttal work was he strong, and it is only just to say, that had he entered debating earlier in his college course, he would have had few peers in the Northwest colleges. We find in Cahill the combination of many of the qualities which go to make up a good debater. He is a deep student of economic problems, a brilliant thinker on his feet, a forceful and rather rapid speaker on the platform, and he possesses a magnetic personality which compels the attention of his audience.



The Debate Council has entire charge of the work in debate and oratory under the Associated Students. It is composed of five members, and a secretary and manager, who has no vote in the Council. At the annual student election in May three inter- collegiate debaters or orators are elected as the undergraduate members of the Council. These three men then select two other persons who shall not be undergraduates. The five men thus selected, then appoint a student manager of debate and oratory, who shall also act as secretary of the Debate Council.

The jurisdiction of the Debate Council extends to the choosing of questions and sides for Whitman in intercollegiate contests, and also to all local tryouts in debate and oratory.



If there has ever been any department of student activity in which Whitman can justly point to a glorious history it is in her work in debating. The personnel of her debating teams, the intense interest and zeal which debaters have shown in their work, and the honor which has always been given to debaters has caused Whitman to put out teams which have maintained an excellent record in the Northwest.

The Washington State College has been met in debate for nine successive years. Out of these contests Whitman has won six, losing the first one and the last, two. This year on account of the inability of the debate managers of the two institutions to agree on a suitable date for the contest, the debate was necessarily called off. With the University of Oregon, Whitman has held two debates and won both. With the University of Idaho, eight contests have been held, the two schools breaking even. Five debates have been held with Pacific University and Whitman has won four. Three debates have been held with Willamette, and Whitman has won one. A tri- angular league has been in operation between Whitman, Pacific University, and Willamette for three years. The first year Whitman took second place, the second year first place, and this last year third place.

With the outgoing of the class of 1908 Whitman lost several of her old debaters, leaving only Morrow, 10, with two intercollegiate contests, Fletcher, '09, and Crum- baker, 11, each with one debate to his credit as the backbone of the debating work for 1909. On account of excessive work in other departments of student activity Morrow and Crumbaker were unable to enter the tryouts for this year's teams. An opportunity for new men to show their mettle was given in the annual inter-society debate between the Phrenokosmian and Athenaeum Literary Societies. The Phrenos, with comparatively inexperienced debaters led by Roy Cahill, '09, won. The Athenaeum team was led by Fletcher, '09. In this debate Greenwell, 12, and Johnson, 11, of the Phrenos, Felthouse, '09, Kitt, 12, and Brainard, '09, of the Athenaeum, did good work. Greenwell, Johnson, Yates, and Felthouse, as well as the two leaders won places on intercollegiate teams.


Description: Description: 08-09 Phrenokosmian










First Semester







Second Semester













































Wearers of the "W"


(Awarded to all students who have represented Whitman in an

intercollegiate debate or oratorical contest)




William Worthington, '00

Roy Cahill, '09

Clarence Morrow, 10

Stanley Yates, 12

Frank Fletcher, '09

Otto Johnson, 11

Calvin Crumbaker, 11

Walter Felthouse, '09

Albert Greenwell, 12




William Wortbington, '00

Paul Brainard, '09


Description: Description: 1908-09 Whitman Academy Team


Description: Description: 1908-09-debate team picture

Team Results


III.              Debate at Whitman

A.     The third annual triangular league debates took place in February with Willamette and Pacific University, Whitman placed third. Willamette was met by Whitman on the negative with Frank Fletcher leading. Pacific University was met by Whitman on the affirmative with Roy Cahill leading.

B.     The annual intersociety debate between Athenaeum and Phrenokosmian was held on January 15, 1909 and was won by Phrenokosmian led by Roy Cahill.

C.    The resolution used for both the triangular debates and the intersociety debate was as follows: “Resolved: That for American cities of population under 200,000, city and government by commission, known as the Galveston or Des Moines plan, is advisable.”

D.    The debate with Washington State College to be held at Pullman in March was canceled due to a disagreement on the topic “Resolved, that aside from the question of amending the constitution, Congress should require all corporations doing an interstate business to take out a federal license.”

E.     Whitman hosted the Ellensburg High School vs. Pearsons Academy debate in the Whitman Chapel, February of 1909. The resolution was: “Resolved: That the Missionaries did more to obtain and retain Old Oregon than did the statesmen.”

F.     The debate record at the conclusion of the school year was 17 of 26 debates won. Whitman had faced University of Oregon two times and won both times, the University of Idaho eight times with an even record of wins and losses, Pacific University five times Whitman having won four and Willamette three times with two losses.

G.    Wearers of the “W” were as follows: William Worthington, Clarence Morrow, Frank Fletcher, Calvin Crumbaker, Roy Cahill, Stanley Yates, Otto Johnson, and Walter Felthouse.

H.    The Whitman College Orator was Vernon Cooke.

I.       Topics for debates held at society meetings included: socialism is not an economic possibility, a graduated income tax should be levied to check the growth of immense fortunes, it is better to live in the dorms than not, course offered to women should be different then those for men, and the US should adopt safety bank deposits, etc.








* Taken from: http://www.multied.com/dates/1908.html