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Sturcken Memorial Oratorical

Sturcken Oratorical Logo

Written by Tanner Crunelle ('20) 

50 years ago, the College of Charleston was formally desegregated. 50 years ago, the College also stopped hosting the Bingham Oratorical—a formerly endowed and annual speech competition. It’s clear we haven’t yet solved the “race problem,” and systemic change must occur in order for that to happen. However, it is entirely reasonable and possible, in an immediate sense, for students of any minority background to identify a place for the institution’s improvement specifically related to marginalization.

Inspired by alumnus Frank Sturcken (’51), a student who advocated for the desegregation of the College, we are pleased to announce the Sturcken Memorial Oratorical Competition. What has been formerly known as the Bingham Oratorical we now reorient to clarify institutional progress as defined by students’ lived experience. Students are asked to first identify a problem they or those they care about have experienced on campus and respond with an argument seeking a solution. This comes with a cash prize and the institutional commitment to see the solution to completion, because oftentimes the answer to a complex question doesn’t come from just one division or department. As a cultural hub, the College is committed to leading by example in the greater Charleston community, and asks that we all participate in making that happen.

For more information contact Tanner Crunelle, crunellett@g.cofc.edu