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Murphy won the 20th annual Everett Oratory Com­pe­tition for the second year in a row on Tuesday afternoon.
Carmel Kookogey | Col­legian

Answering the question “How to be a good neighbor in a divided world,” junior Taryn Murphy won the 20th annual Everett Oratory Com­pe­tition for the second year in a row on Tuesday afternoon. 

Five finalists (seniors Michelle Reid and Molly Buccola, juniors Connor Daniels and Taryn Murphy, and freshman Ethan Tong) com­peted in Plaster Audi­torium before three judges (Jana Daley, Don Tocco, and Larry Arnn) and an audience of CCA attendees, stu­dents, and faculty. Reid took second and Daniels third, respec­tively. 

Kirsten Kiledal, Rhetoric and Public Address Department Chairman, who is in charge of coor­di­nating the com­pe­tition said that she thought the com­pe­tition went very well. 

“We didn’t have any no shows for the pre­lim­inary com­pe­tition which is truly a first in 20 years,” Kiledal said. “We had strong speeches. Stu­dents made very few changes, and there was nothing that couldn’t be allowed into the com­pe­tition.”

Reid said she was impressed by the quality of the com­pe­tition.

“I heard a lot of people in the semi-final rounds who I was sure would be finalists,” Reid said.

Murphy has com­peted in the Everett for the past three years. 

“I did speech and debate for six years in middle school and high school,” Murphy said. “That really ignited my hunger and passion for public speaking. Just to speak and par­tic­ipate in this event for the college is such a joy because I get to do the thing I love the most.”

Murphy’s winning oration focused on being a good neighbor through cit­i­zenship and pol­itics. 

“So what enabled our Fore­fa­thers to build an entire nation despite their clear dif­fer­ences? The answer is that our Founders looked to their nation as their source of unity, not their political iden­tities. This fact is man­ifest in the Con­sti­tution, which makes clear that the Founders gathered “in order to form a more perfect union,” Murphy said in her speech.

Kiledal said that responses to the topic were a bit dif­ferent than she and the topic selection com­mittee expected.

“We found in a lot of ways that the stu­dents coa­lesced around certain arche­types and certain topical stories or sources that they went to. They were more limited than we expected them to be. Some of their responses were a little more localized than we thought they may be.”

Murphy said that she really enjoyed lis­tening to the other con­tes­tants.

“Everyone did a phe­nomenal job,’’ Murphy said. “I learned so much lis­tening to everyone else. That’s what I’ll keep with me much longer than the title.”