Interstate Oratory

Each year, the top two persuasive speakers at the Minnesota Collegiate Forensics Association State Championships are qualified to attend the National Interstate Oratory Competition, the oldest and most prestigious oratory competition in the United States, currently in its 139th year. Speeches from all 100 national competitors each year are assembled and published in a book entitled "Winning Orations."

Throughout its entire forensics legacy, Gustavus has been an integral part of the Interstate Oratorical Association. Andrea Carlile ('07) qualified for the Interstate Oratory for three consecutive years, 2005-2007 and made it to semifinals in 2006. In 2007, Andrea Carlile ('07) and Bridget Traut ('07) made history by having both competitors to represent Minnesota hailing from one school.

This feat was repeated in 2008 with Mary Cunningham ('10) and Emma Moreau ('10) representing Minnesota. Cunningham ('10) was able to advance the semifinals, and Moreau ('10) became the first Gustie to advance to finals since 1974, earning 4th place. Gustavus was the only school in 2008 to have two students advance to semifinals. In 2011 Phil Helt ('11) qualified and one year later in 2012 Luke Youngvorst ('12) represented Gustavus.

Emma Morea, Coach Kris Kracht and Mary Cunningham at the 2008 ISO

Emma Morea ('10), Coach Kris Kracht and Mary Cunningham ('10) at the 2008 Interstate Oratory Contest

In 2009, Tasha Carlson ('09) extended the streak began of Gustavus representation at the National Interstate Oratory Competition into its fifth year.

Cunningham ('10) returned to the Interstate Oratory Competitionin 2010, advancing to the semifinal round.

Oratory Highlights
  • 2006 - Andrea Carlile ('07) reached semifinals
  • 2007 - Andrea Carlile ('07) and Bridget Traut ('07) make Minnesota history by having both student representatives from one school
  • 2008 - Dual representation feat of '07 is repeated by Mary Cunningham ('10) and Emma Moreau ('10); Cunningham reached semifinals, Moreau placed 4th
  • 2009 - Tasha Carlson represents Gustavus
  • 2010 - Mary Cunningham ('10) advanced to the semifinal round
  • 2011- Phil Helt ('11) represents Gustavus
  • 2012 - Luke Youngvorst ('12) represents Gustavus