1927-1928 Whitman Speech and Debate Team
William Earl Beem
Edith Davis and Prof. Blankenship who also taught in the English department
The Wrangler’s club for freshmen is established in 1927.
A. New Staff
Robert Allen Burton – Counselor of
2) Professor H. Wyatt – Professor of Education
B. Mark Bradford was ASWC President
C. Alice McPherson was ASWC Vice President
D. Arthur Jones was ASWC Secretary
E. Dr. Stephen B. L. Penrose was the College President (as well as being head of the education and philosophy departments)
F. William Earl Beem was the debate coach/DOF
G. Catherine Bleakney was women’s debate manager
H. Chester Babcock was the men’s debate manager
A. Enrollment was 535
B. The Faculty voted to return to the semester system after the S.A.T.C. (a World War I measure) had forced them into a trimester system. The students opposed this move.
requirements were changed:
The reading knowledge requirement in foreign language was abolished
The physical education requirement was reduced from 2 years to 1 year
D. There was a mumps outbreak. Various halls were quarantined at one point or another.
E. The physics department decided to add a radio course for the 1928-29 year.
F. 80% of men at Whitman worked through school
G. 50% of women at Whitman had part time jobs
H. The Blue Moon (Whitman’s literary magazine) after being cancelled due to financial problems, was revived by Professor Blankenship, and students Lyman Lynn, Paul Smithson, and Bud Lynch
members of the faculty were included in “Who’s Who in
Louis F. Anderson (professor of Greek and Vice President of the college – he was also the father of the 1st President of Whitman)
Professor Walter Andrew Bratton (head of mathematics department)
Professor Howard Stidham Brode (Professor of Biology)
Professor Edward E. Ruby (head of the Latin Department)
J. Flappers were an established social group
K. Whitman won the Northwest Conference in Basketball for the 3rd straight year
L. Baseball won the Northwest Conference
M. Track won their conference meet
N. The gym was undergoing renovation
O. Pio ads centered mostly around banks, confectionaries, and clothing
Speech in the English Department News
COURSES IN SPEAKING
6. Public Speaking.—This course aims to develop the ability to speak effectively. It includes instruction in the principles of oral composition, correction of voice and speech defects, training in right vocal habits, and practice in speaking. Sections are limited to fifteen students. Required of Freshmen. One hour, first and second semesters.
7. Argumentation and Debate.—The aim of this course is not so much to develop skill in formal debate as to give the student the power to consider disputed questions calmly and logically. Students interested in intercollegiate forensics are advised to take this course. Open to Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors. Three hours, first semester.
8. Forms of Public Address.—The course includes a study of selected addresses prepared for special occasions and practice in the composition and delivery of occasional speeches. Open to Juniors and Seniors. Two hours, second semester.
30. Extemporaneous Speaking.—Practice in extemporaneous speaking on topics of current interest. Open to Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors. Two hours, first semester.
9. Dramatic Interpretation and Play Production.—In the first semester, this course gives instruction and training in dramatic interpretation; in the second semester, in play production. Open to Juniors and Seniors, and to Sophomores by consent of the instructor. The enrollment is limited to twenty students. Three hours, first semester; two hours, second semester.
THE JOHN BRINING PRIZES IN FRESHMAN
EXTEMPORANEOUS SPEAKING.—Mr. John Brining, of
THE WILLIAM THOMAS DOVELL PRIZES IN ORATORY.— Alumni members of the Board of Overseers have established two prizes, one of thirty dollars and one of twenty dollars, in memory of the late William Thomas Dovell, a member of the Class of 1888, upon the following conditions:
The prizes are awarded upon the basis of an oratorical contest to be held during Commencement week, provided that at least four contestants participate. The contest is open to members of the Sophomore, Junior, and Senior classes. The orations are limited to two thousand words. Contestants present their subjects to the head of the English Department for approval not later than the third Tuesday of February. If more than six contestants submit orations, they present them to the head of the English Department not later than April 15 for submission to a board of judges on thought and composition who select the six best orations for the Commencement contest. The judges on thought and on delivery are selected by a committee consisting of the President of the College and the heads of the departments of English and History. (1918)
DELTA SIGMA RHO, national honorary forensic fraternity, has established a chapter at the College. Membership is earned in part by participation in at least two intercollegiate contests.
THE ASSOCIATED STUDENTS OF WHITMAN COLLEGE, an organization of which every student is a member, has control of student activities in athletics, in journalism, in debate and oratory, and in music. The dues, $7.50 per semester, payable by every student, are collected by the Bursar of the College.
The Joins Brining Prizes in Freshman Extemporaneous Speaking—
Second: LOYAL ILIF PERRY, Class of 1980
The William Thomas Dovell Prizes in Oratory— Tied for
III. In the world
C. Belgian George Lemaitre postulated the Big Bang theory
D. Sacco and Vanzetti were executed on August 23, 1927
T. Farnsworth unveils television in
F. CBS started its first radio broadcasts on September 18, 1927
G. The Jazz Singer, widely accepted as the first “talkie” movie, was released on October 6, 1927
US Supreme Court upheld the lower court rulings in the
I. Ford unveiled its Model A on December 2, 1927
Senate refused to seat Senators elect Frank Smith (
K. Showboat debuted on Broadway on December 27, 1927
purges the communist party and consolidates his control of the
M. (1928) In the wake of the 1927 Mississippi River flooding, the U.S. government adopts the Flood Control Act, a $325 million, 10-year program to control floods with dams built by army engineers.
N. Amelia Earhart made the first transatlantic flight by a woman between June 17 and 18, 1928
Q. “On March 1st, the US Army Air Corps received the first of its order of 13 B-17 bombers.”
R. The “Neutrality Act, which became known as the "Third Neutrality Act," extended the US Neutrality Acts to civil wars.”
S. “After traveling from
“On July 7th, Japanese troops clashed in maneuvers with Chinese troops at the
The “Royal Commission calls for partition of
W. “Amelia Earhart was lost over the Pacific in her attempt to make an around-the-world flight along the equator.”
“Somoza family gains control over
“On November 11, 1937,
“On December 12th, Japanese planes bombed a
IV. Debate at Whitman
A. The Men’s team included Richard Van Horn, Eugene Klise, Henry Taylor, Clark Eckart, Chester Babcock, Carlise Roberts, and Loyal Perry
B. The Men debated the topic “Resolved, That investors and investments in Foreign countries should be protected only by the government of the Nation in which the investment is made.”
C. The Men debated six rounds and they won three, lost two, and had one No decision.
D. The Women’s team included members Dorothy Jack, Hilda Gaylord, Sophie Kirshen, Marjory Nelson, Agnes Clarke, Harriet Ahearn, Catherine Bleakney, and Elizabeth Galloway
E. The Women debated two topics.
1. “Resolved, That co-education in American colleges and universities is a failure.”
2. “Resolved, That the policy of mass education in the American institutions of higher learning be condemned.”
F. The Women’s team debated in two contests losing both.
G. Whitman was part of the Pacific
Coast Forensic League which included eleven Members from
Harry Rothrock represented Whitman at the national
speech tournament in
V. IM Debate at Whitman
A. Trophies were offered for the first time this year. This was done to encourage Competition. The IM contests became a matter of class pride.
B. The Men debated the topic “Resolved, That insanity as a plea for a crime Be abolished.”
C. Freshmen Kenneth Davis and Ralph Edgerton defeated Juniors Harold Fleharty and Charles Ogden to win the IM debates.
D. The Women debated the topic “Resolved, That advertising plays too great a Part in the life of the American people.”
E. Freshmen Ruth Blaine and Lola Sims defeated Sophomores Irmal Kinnison And Verna Rasmusser and Juniors Leila Lundy and Eleanor Dunlop To win the IM debates.
VI. Whitman IM Speech Contests
A. The Dovell Oratory contest was split between Chester Babcock and Harry Rothrock who each tied for first.
B. Freshmen were not allowed to compete in the Dovell Contest. They had a Contest of their own called the John Brining Extemporaneous Speech Contest.
1. It gave a long list of topics with three hours of preparation to the contestants. Twelve finalists were announced.
2. Carlisle Roberts and Loyal Perry won the awards in the Women’s and Men’s divisions respectively.
The past year has been one of interest to followers of the Whitman debating teams. Although debate does not draw the crowds that other outside activities of the college do, the people of the Northwest have probably heard more about the Missionary's forensic activities this year than they have of any of his other undertakings.
A new coach took over the reigns last
fall, and one of the biggest events of the year faced him shortly after school
opened. W. Earl Beem of
During the year two other men's debates were held, one of which was a dual debate, and six men were broken into the game. All but one of these will return to school next year. Two representatives were also entered in the Pacific Forensic League contest, and both placed. One of these will be lost by graduation.
In the women's section only one veteran came out for debate, and a triangular contest and a dual debate shortly faced the squad. Quick work on the part of Coach Beem again came to the rescue, and four new candidates were ready to take the field when the time came. Three of these women varsity debaters will be lost by graduation, but the two remaining will have as their colleagues next year an experienced group of women who were out for interclass debate.
The success of the season is due largely to the efforts of the coach. Handicaps seemed but opportunities to him, and he has already started preparations for a next year's schedule that promises to be nearly twice as big as the one just completed.
Early in the fall the men's rebate squad
was called out to begin preparations for the second inter-continental debate in
the history of the school. Hardly a month was at hand in which to break in an
entirely new squad, but hard work on the part of the men turning out gave Coach
Beem confidence enough to pick a trio and begin
training them to meet the experienced
The question chosen was: "Resolved, that the modern press exercises a harmful influence on the community," and the Whitman team, composed of Harry Rothrock, Mark Bradford, and Chester Babcock, upheld the negative side of the resolution.
Sydney H. Heathwood,
Noel D. Mackintosh, and John R. Godsall spoke for the
Australian university. All three of these men had had considerable experience,
and two of them had debated two years previous against the
The debate was featured by the cleverness and wit of the members of both teams, and at times the audience was kept in an uproar by the brilliant comparisons used. It was a no-decision debate, and newspapers of the city did not express an opinion because of the closeness of the contest.
This year for the first time in the
history of the school the men's and women's interclass debaters completed a
forensic schedule and were award-ed bronze plaques
for their winning work. The men argued on the question: "Resolved, that
all students be prohibited from operating cars while attending college"
and the women discussed the co-educational problem in the
After a series of elimination contests in which debaters were graded individually the following class champions were picked: Men, Seniors: Harry Johnson and Philip von Lubken; Juniors: Glenn Davidson and Henry Taylor; Sophomores: Charles Ogden and Glenn Brogger; Freshmen: Wilmar Froistad and Loyal Perry. In the women's division no Junior team was entered. The other class teams were: Seniors, Lenore Martin and Mary Walker; Sophomores' Betty O'Brien and Sophie Kirshen; and Freshmen Helen Graham and Clare Applegate.
In the finals, which were held during chapel hours in the early part of March' the Junior men emerged victorious over their Freshmen rivals, and the Senior women defeated the Sophomore champions for the coveted trophy.
The two plaques upon which the names of the winning teams were engraved, were presented to the school by the Rev. Hugh Elmer Brown of Evanston, Illinois and were awarded for the first time this year. It is thought that even a greater interest will be shown in interclass debate next year than was shown during its first year of organization, and Coach Beem expects to uncover many promising varsity debaters by means of these debates.
EXTEMPORANEOUS SPEAKING CONTEST
For the first time in the history of the school a Whitman student place in the Pacific Coast Extemporaneous Speaking contest, which was this year held at Corvallis Harry Rothrock, a Sophomore, represented the college in this meet, and carried off first honors with a Southern California student placing second and the Washington State College representative getting third place. Rothrock, after an hour's preparation, spoke on "The History of the United States' Policy in Respect to the West Indian Republics of Central America
On April 8, the night following the
Extemporaneous Speaking contest Preston Butler spoke in
Speaking contests of every description are
continually being held in
The Dovell Contest
The William Thomas Dovell
prizes in oratory were given last commencement to Gordon Hannaford and Jack Gose, both of whom have graduated. The prizes given each
year are thirty dollars and twenty, and this year four speakers have already
been chosen to contest for the money in June. They are:
The John Brining Contest
Last year's Freshman Extemporaneous Speaking contest was won by Betty O'Brien, with Eugene Klise placing second. Prizes of twenty and ten dollars are given each year to the winners of this contest, who draw subjects and are given three hours in which to prepare them. A great wealth of material is at hand this year from which to pick speakers for the finals and this event promises to be one of the most hotly contested in many years
Frosh Oratorical Contest
Last year an oratorical contest was held for the Freshmen, and a considerable amount of talent was discovered among these youngsters. The four finalists spoke during the chapel hour, and Chester Babcock was awarded first place, and Virginia Humphrey second. The others reaching the finals over a large field of entries were Eugene Klise and Hilda Gaylord
On December 7, 1927, the Whitman debate team faced off
against a trio of debaters from
H.L. Elvin, M.A.B. King-Hamilton and
H.M. Foot spoke for
February 16 Lenore Martin and Dorothy Jack met the negative team from
Washington State College in the college chapel on the question: "Resolved,
that the United States adopt a uniform marriage and divorce law." On the
same evening the Whitman negative team, composed of Maurine Hall and Mary
Walker journeyed to Moscow and debated the Univer- sity of Idaho debaters on the same question. At the same
time a team from the University was in
COLLEGE OF IDAHO DUAL DEBATE
"Resolved: that a national board of censorship be established by congress to control exhibitions and the release of all moving pictures" was the question discussed by the teams representing the College of Idaho and Whitman on Saturday evening, April 16. Catherine Bleakney and Dorothy Jack, upholding the negative side of the question, won a 2 to 1 decision over the Idaho women on the Whitman floor, while Mary Walker and Lenore Martin,, who traveled to Caldwell to argue the affirmative side of the resolution, lost by a split vote. The home debate was unique in that it was broadcast by remote control from MacDowell Hall through station KOWW, Walla Walla. This was the first debate to be sent out over the wires from Whitman College, and the first women's debate to be broadcast in this section of the country.
O. A. C. DEBATE
On Wednesday evening, March 9, Clark Eckart and Harry Rothrock met the Oregon Agricultural College affirmative team in the college chapel on the question: "Resolved, that foreign nations immediately relinquish all governmental control in China, excepting that usually exercised by consulates and legations." It was the first time in several years that the two schools had met, and dopesters had it rightly figured that this would be one of the best debates of the year. Both sides got a good deal of applause on their smashing rebuttals, as these were the features of the debate. The visiting team went home with a well earned 2 to I decision.
Chinese question was again under fire in two debates between the College of
Puget Sound and Whitman which were held April 18 and April 28. Chester Babcock and
Kenneth Garner took the trip to Tacoma for the first of the debates' and upheld
the negative side of the question in Jones Hall before one of the largest
crowds that has ever witnessed a forensic con- test in the sound city. The Tacomans kept an unanimous
decision in their own home town, but according to reports Whitman's team made a
very creditable showing, despite the adverse decision of the judges. Ten days
later Howard Manning and Clark Eckart were hosts to
the C. P. S. negative team in
IV. Debate at Whitman
had the only chapter of Delta Sigma Rho (a debate honor society) in the state
Faculty: William R. Davis and George B. Marquis
Students: Clark Eckart, Catherine Bleakney, Mark Bradford, Harry Rothrock, Chester Babcock, Dorothy Jack, Alfred McVay
2) Hilda Gaylord, Sophia Kirshen, Elizabeth Galloway, Kenneth Garner, Eugene Klise, and Henry Taylor were inducted in spring 1928
1) Freshmen Ralph Edgerton, Philip Davis, and Fred Sundquist of the Wranglers’ Club (an on campus farm organization for Whitman debate) debated Walla Walla High School on the resolution “Resolved, that the President and Vice President of the US should be elected for a single, 6-year term constitutionally waived.”
Later in the year they debated Mac-Hi on the resolution “Resolved, that the jury system should be so changed as to permit a verdict by less than unanimous vote” (12 mi.n constructives; one 5min rebuttal per team)
2) Ye Talke Shoppe (the women’s equivalent of the Wranglers’ Club) was formed. It consisted of 20 women. Dorothy Jack was the President, Elizabeth Galloway was the Vice President, and Elma Proffitt was the Secretary/Treasurer.
3) On December 1 they met to debate the resolution “Resolved: that this house disapproves of woman.” The women of Ye Talke Shoppe were Aff.
women’s debate team consisted of 8 members: Dorothy Jack, Hilda Gaylord, Sophie
Kirshen, Catherine Bleakney,
Elizabeth Galloway, Agnes Clark, and Harriet Ahearn.
2/16 - Dorothy Jack and Hilda Gaylord lost on the Aff at Washington State College debating the resolution “Resolved, that co-education as practical in American institutions of higher education is a failure.” Afterwards, they traveled to the
2/20 - Agnes Clark and Harriet Ahearn lost on the Aff at Oregon State College, debating the resolution “Resolved, that mass education at American colleges and universities should be abandoned.”
- Elizabeth Galloway and Catherine Bleakney lost on
the Neg at Oregon State College debating the
2) Katherine Kiesling and Elma Proffit were incapacitated by the mumps outbreak
1) Topic: “Resolved, that American investors and investments in foreign nations should be protected only by the government in which the investments are made.”
3/1 - Richard Van Horn and Eugene Klise, Aff vs. Weber
3/2 - Richard Van Horn and Henry Taylor, Aff at
3/5 - Henry Taylor and Eugene Klise, Aff vs. Oregon
December 7 a three-man team from
2) the Whitman team: Harry Rothrock, Henry Taylor, and Mark Bradford
3) The Resolution: “Resolved that this house disapproves of woman” (Whitman was Neg)
4) 13 minute constructives; one 8 minute rebuttal per team
5) Professor W.R. Davis presided
debates were held on a class (Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors) basis
1) the resolution and other details were decided on by a committee of students
a) times were 7min constructives; 4min rebuttals; debates were two-on-two
b) men’s resolution: “Resolved, that the plea of insanity in defense of crime be abolished (constitutionality is waived)”
c) women’s resolution: “Resolved, that this house condemns the large part played by advertising in modern life.”
2) no senior teams entered, giving the junior teams a leg straight into finals
3) Men: Freshmen Kenneth Davis and Ralph Edgerton (Neg) beat Juniors Harold Fleharty and Charles Ogden in the final round.
4) Women: Freshmen Lola Sims and Ruth Blaine beat Juniors Eleanor Dunlap and Leila Lundy
G. The Pacific Coast
Forensics League Tournament (which consisted of only oration and extemporaneous
speaking) amended the extemporaneous speaking event so that schools would
receive absolutely no clues as to the topic before arriving at the tournament.
1) Harry Rothrock was selected to represent Whitman at this tournament (he couldn’t do extemp, since he had taken first the year before). Clark Eckart was the alternate. (There was no opportunity for women to compete at this tournament). Rothrock’s oratory was on “Valleys of Forgotten Men.”
2) Tournament was held at Pomona College
3) There was a $50 prize for 1st place and a $25 prize for 2nd.
1st – Arizona University
2nd – University of California
3rd – USC
1st – Stanford
2nd – Pomona
A measure to form a women’s league was voted down
President Cable of Arizona University was elected League President
Professor Veatch of Washington State College was elected League Vice President
Dovell speech contest was barred from Freshmen; speeches had to be 2000 words or less; the topic
had to be approved by the English department.
1) There were 14 entries. They held a preliminary round to choose 4 finalists.
Irma Kinnison; Stephen Penrose, Jr.; Harry Rothrock; Richard Van Horn; Chester Babcock – Alternate
1st – Irma Kinnison (class of ’30)
2nd – Stephen Penrose, Jr. (class of ’28)
John Brining extemporaneous speaking contest was held for freshmen only.
1) Women finalists:
Ruth Blaine, Cornelia Hansen, Katherine Kiesling, Catherine Ogden (Harriet Ahearn and Freda Herndon as alternates)
Winner: Ruth Blaine
2) Men finalists:
Kenneth Davis, Albert Garretson, Gordon Manseir, Donald Rader (Howard Rosheim and Ralph Edgerton as alternates)
Winner: Albert Garretson
J. Two trophies were adopted to be awarded to the campus organization with the most members participating in forensic activities (Varsity debate, Speaking contests, Intramural debates, and Pacific Coast Forensics League Contests)