The Faculty


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John Ackley

John William Ackley, A.M. Assistant Professor of English, A.B., University of Redlands; A.M., University of Southern California, Instructor, and Director of Forensics


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Edith Blackman Merrell Davis, A.B. (Mrs.) Assistant Professor English, A.B. Ripon College; started in the English department in 1924 (she taught Latin as an instructor prior to that).


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W. R. Davis, DSR Faculty Advisor



Whitman News

A.     Walter Andrew Bratton was the college president.

B.     Jim Miller was the president of ASWC.

C.    Assistant professor of English John W. Ackley was the debate coach.

D.    Bobbie Barnes was the women’s varsity debate manager.

E.     Paul Hower was the men’s varsity debate manager.

F.     Total costs per semester were $270.50.


Description: Description: 40-41 Varsity team


Speech Courses within the English Department

ENGLISH 1 or 2. Orientation and Discussion, A writing and speaking course.

ENGLISH 15 or 16. Orientation and Discussion, A public speaking course with a diction emphasis.

ENGLISH 17 or 28. Interpretation of the Printed Page.

ENGLISH 46. Oral Interpretation.

ENGLISH 47. Argumentation and Debate.

ENGLISH 56. Public Speaking.

ENGLISH 57-58. Dramatic Interpretation

ENGLISH 75 or 76. Advanced Public Speaking.



The John Brining Prizes in Extemporaneous Speaking of $12.50 each are awarded to the best man and woman speakers in a speaking contest that is open to all members of the freshman class.

The Delta Gamma Reading Prizes of $25, $15, and $10 are awarded at Commencement to the students who read during the year with intelligence and appreciation the largest amount of good literature, apart from their required college work.

The Dovell-Gose Prizes in Oratory of $30 and $20 are awarded at Commencement to students upon the basis of a contest in oratory. The contest is open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors.



15 or 16. ORIENTATION AND DISCUSSION.—This course aims to train the student in effective communication of his thought on topics related to lectures and assigned reading (described in Course 1 or 2), and other topics in which the class has interest. Speeches are given before the class each week. Attention is given to voice defects and the formation of right vocal habits. Individual direction is given as required. Men and women are organized into separate groups of not more than twenty members each. Required of all freshmen. Correlates with Course 1 or 2.

                                          Three hours, one semester.         E. B. M. Davis, Ackley

27 or 28. INTERPRETATION OF THE PRINTED PAGE.—NOT open to students above the sophomore year. Minimum registration twelve; maximum regis­tration twenty-four.

Two hours, one semester.                         E. B. M. Davis

45.       ORAL INTERPRETATION.—This course aims to develop ability to read aloud and to gain through oral interpretation an appreciation of literature. Attention is given to voice training. Open to sophomores.

Two hours, first semester.                         E. B. M. Davis

47.       ARGUMENTATION AND DEBATE.—A study of principles of argumentative discourse and readings in current social, economic, and political questions. Constant speaking before the class is used to illustrate the application of the principles studied to the discussion of problems in the field of reading.

Three hours, first semester.                                  Ackley

56.       PUBLIC SPEAKING.—A study of the elements of effective public speaking with frequent practice in speaking before the class. Standards of vocal habits, of delivery, of diction, and of pronunciation are stressed. Minimum registration ten; maximum registration twenty.

Three hours, second semester.                            Ackley

57-58.  (Unit). DRAMATIC INTERPRETATION AND PLAY PRODUCTION.— Instruction and practice in dramatic interpretation followed by experience with problems of play production through public performance of several plays. Consideration is given to scene design, stage lighting, costuming, and directing.

Two hours, first semester; three hours, second semester.     E. B. M. Davis

73-74.  RADIO SPEECH.—Training in radio speech and in program plan­ning and directing, together with actual experience in broadcasting. Open to qualified juniors and seniors who have had training in at least one course numbered from 27 to 58.

One or two hours, first and second semesters.    Ackley

75-76.  ADVANCED PUBLIC SPEAKING.—Training in debate, oratory, and extempore speaking. Open with permission of the instructor to juniors and seniors who have had training in at least five hours in Courses 45, 47, and 56.

One or two hours, first and second semesters.    Ackley

77.78.  ADVANCED PLAY PRODUCTION.—Prerequisite: Course 57-58. Open to qualified students with permission of the instructor.

One or two hours, first and second semesters.          E. B. M. Davis


World News

I.                 In the World

A.     Hostilities were heightening in Europe since the outbreak of war between Nazi Germany and England, although the U.S. had still not yet entered the war.

B.     Japan attempted to increase the amount of Chinese territory under its control. The Guomindang government began to lose ground to communist insurgency. The Guomindang government instituted a policy of three destructions in order to crack down on communist areas. Especially hard hit were the ethnic Hakka villages of the Kwangtung Province.

C. “German forces invaded Norway and Denmark.”

D. “German armies invade Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg.”

E. “The British successfully extricated 200,000 British and 100,000 French troops from the beaches of Dunkirk.”

F. “On June 13, Paris was evacuated by French forces, in the face of advancing German forces. On the 23rd of June, France surrendered.”

G. “The Germans attempted to subdue Great Britain by utilizing air attacks. Germany attacked all major cities and military installations.”

H. “The Italians invaded Greece.”

I. “The British launched an air attack on the Italian harbor at Taranto from the aircraft carrier ‘Illustrious.’”

J. “British troops launched a surprise attack on Italian troops which occupied parts of western Egypt.”

K. “Charles Carlson patented the first xerographic machine.”

L. “Churchill becomes Britain's prime minister.


Intramural Debaters

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Team Awards

A.     Intramural debate

1.     Tau Kappa Epsilon won for the first time the John W. Ackley men’s trophy, named for the current debate coach, with the team of Danny Henderson and Larry Bond. The Phi Delta Theta team of Bob Brooke and Wade Westfall took second.

2.     The undefeated team of Virginia Washburn and Nancy Wineman of Alpha Chi Omega won the women’s Austin Rice Gavel over the Tri Delta team of Helen Hurley and Betty Faith Reynolds. Not surprisingly, both Washburn and Wineman were on the varsity debate team.

3.     Paul Hower was the coordinator.

4.     The topic was “Resolved: That the United States policy of agricultural restriction should be discontinued.”

B.     Varsity intercollegiate debate

1.     At the Linfield Conference Tournament, Jack Edwards placed second in senior after dinner speaking and Westfall took second in lower division impromptu. In debate, the Whitman teams of Lloyd Benedict and Bob Waters, and Edwards and Ed Adams tied for third, having advanced to semifinals. Bond and Paul Hower placed third in lower division debate.

2.     At the Pacific Forensic League Tournament, held at Stanford, Waters received a superior rating.

3.     Edwards continued to bring in the laughs at the Western Association Teachers of Speech Tournament in Los Angeles, where he won first place in after dinner speaking. Baker Kennedy, Dick Kilby, and Adams also participated.

4.     Edwards and Adam were successful enough to attend the prestigious Delta Sigma Rho National Convention in Chicago.

5.     At the annual women’s triangular tournament with Washington State College and Idaho, held at Whitman, Washington edged out Whitman by just one debate. Intramural champs Washburn and Wineman made an excellent showing.

6.     At the Pi Kappa Delta Tournament at Linfield, Betty Jean Dykstra placed first in senior women’s oratory.


The John Brining Prizes in Freshman Extemporaneous Speaking—

Margaret Florence Ostrander, Class of 1943

Leo Forrest Richter, Class of 1943


The Dovell-Gose Prizes in Oratory—

Edgar Malcolm Adams, Jr., Class of 1942

James Henry Baker Kennedy, Calls of 1941