AUSTIN, TX – Rebecca Koury and Chris Kirch competed at the Interstate Oratorical Association’s (IOA) 148th annual championship tournament. Senior, Shirley Liu qualified for the tournament and fellow senior, Jefrey Alexander, qualified as alternate but neither were unable to go. First-year competitor, Chris Kirch, filled in admirably! Both competitors did the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania proud! Lafayette finished with 4 of the top 5 competitors in the state and was able to send two competitors to IOA again this year!

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, just like this year, 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 at the University of Texas-Austin.

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, Shirley, Rebecca, Jefrey, and Chris!