On October 27, 2018, the Department of Languages hosted the 46th 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, 485 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 set up, help with registration and parking, supervise contest rooms in Daniel Hall, and lead campus tours. The campus tours were a new offering this year, with approximately 80 contestants and their families participating.
Competitors recited two poems, a mandatory selection and a second selection. They were evaluated by 64 judges, who included Clemson faculty and staff 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 by joining a tour. 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, all of whom volunteer at the event, especially the Declamation Committee of Su-I Chen, Melva Persico, Doroles Martín, Anne Salces y Nedeo, Amy Sawyer, and Julia Schmidt. The Department is grateful for the continued support of donors Dr. Rob Roy McGregor, Jr. and Dr. Ralph Rynes; the volunteer judges; and the Dean’s Office of the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities.