On October 21, 2017, the Department of Languages hosted the 45th Annual Declamation Contest. This poetry recitation contest brings together middle- and high-school students from the region, who come to the Clemson campus for the day to show off their language skills. This year, 490 students from 31 middle and high schools in South Carolina, Georgia, and North Carolina registered to compete in ASL, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Russian and Spanish. Clemson students also volunteered to help with registration and supervise contest rooms in Daniel Hall.
Competitors recited two poems, a mandatory selection and a second selection. They were evaluated by 67 judges, who included Clemson faculty and members of the community. After the judging was complete, students and their families attended an awards ceremony in Tillman Hall. The event also gave participants a chance to explore the campus, eat in a dining hall, and learn more about the school. Past Declamation participants have attended or are now attending Clemson to study foreign languages.
The contest’s continued success is due to the hard work of the Department’s faculty and staff, especially the Declamation Committee of Su-I Chen, Scott Harris, Melva Persico, Cathy Robison, Anne Carole Salces y Nedeo, Amy Sawyer, and Julia Schmidt.
The 45th Declamation Contest was dedicated in loving memory of Roger K. Simpson, Senior Lecturer of Spanish, who passed away on February 4, 2017. Roger served for 17 years on the Declamation Committee, and his unwavering dedication and commitment to the contest, to his colleagues and to his students will always be appreciated and remembered.