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Dr. Sara Pitts poses for group photo with our student speakers. *Not pictured: Rayne Sheppard

Several ALC students competed in the 30th Annual James V. Mongiardo Speech Competition on Tuesday, February 28th in the Campbell Arts Center Auditorium. This year’s event was cosponsored by Books by eCampus and the Mongiardo family. Contestants competed for $1,300 in prize money on Tuesday.

Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Dr. Sara Pitts welcomed the audience and introduced the competition and this year’s theme: Resilience. The goals of the speeches were to discuss what resilience means to the speaker or how the speaker has exhibited resilience, and to discuss how one of the key concepts of the Purpose Road (conscience, interest, duty, action, courage, and consecration) is related to this understanding of resilience.

Resilience was selected as the theme for this year’s contest because, as Alice Lloyd College celebrates our centennial, it’s easy to see the resilience of our founders and our college. 100 years ago, Mrs. Alice Lloyd and Dr. June Buchanan had a vision to create a school for the mountain people of Appalachia to help them return to and better their own communities. They overcame obstacles and established the foundations for Alice Lloyd College.

We have even seen resilience these last few months. We have seen it in our communities, and we have seen how it can shape our futures. The historic July flooding that hit the Appalachian region will forever change some of the landscapes, economies, and people of Eastern Kentucky; but, true to Appalachia’s rich history, we have proven resilient.

Dr. Pitts then introduced the student speakers and began the competition. The participants were Jonathan Blair, Kennedy Clarkson, Gabe Horsely, Rayne Sheppard, Justin Witt, Clair-Jane Newman, and MacKenzie Slone.

This year’s winner was Justin Nicholas Witt with his speech “What Makes Resilience.” The First Runner-Up is Clari-Jane Newman with “Little by Little,” and this year’s Third Place is Kennedy Clarkson’s “Rebound.”