INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Kelly Mwaamba (’22), has finishes her final tournament as a semi-finalist in the Interstate Oratorical Association’s (IOA) 147th annual championship tournament.  Shirley Liu (’23) also narrowly missed the elimination rounds.  Both competitors did the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania proud!

IOA is the longest running public speaking competition in North America. The first tournament was first held in 1874 in Galesburg, IL and had been held without interruption in some capacity every year since . Two students are selected by each state to participate. In 2022, the representatives from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania were both students from Lafayette College. Traditionally hosted in a unique setting (like in front of the Liberty Bell or Mount Rushmore), this year the tournament was held in Indianapolis.

Against the best competitors from each state, Kelly finished in the top 12 that advanced to a semi-final round. Attending this prestigious competition is an honor. Lafayette has a long history of representing Pennsylvania at this tournament. Past IOA competitors include William Jennings Bryan, Senator Robert LaFollette, and Senator George McGovern. Both student’s speeches will be published in the journal Winning Orations.

Congratulations, Kelly and Shirley!