Coolidge Cup Qualifier for Declamation

Welcome to the Coolidge Cup Qualifying Tournament for Declamation. In this video-based competition, the top finisher in each state will receive a prize, and the top 8 finishers overall will earn an invitation to compete in declamation at the 2022 Coolidge Cup, held at the Coolidge Historic Site in Plymouth, Vermont.

This competition OPENS on January 1, 2022, and CLOSES on April 16th, 2022 at 11:59pm ET. To enter, select one (1) speech from the official packet of three speeches by President Coolidge that we have provided below, record a video of yourself declaiming it, and then fill out the submission form at the bottom of this page. Winners will be notified of the results by the end of May.

Prizes

The top finisher in each state (up to 50 states plus Washington, D.C.) will receive a prize. Additionally, as a Coolidge Cup qualifier competition, the top 8 finishers overall in this competition will receive an invitation to travel to Plymouth, Vermont, expenses paid, to compete in the declamation event at the 2022 Coolidge Cup, held July 2-4, 2022.

Speeches to Choose From

Download the Coolidge Cup Official Speech Excerpt Packet for 2022 (PDF) and choose one of these speech excerpts to declaim in your video.

Video Dos and Don’ts

  • DO speak loudly and clearly
  • DO record your video in “landscape” (i.e., horizontal) mode, not “portrait” (i.e., vertical) mode
  • DO title your videos with your name and the name of the speech
  • DO NOT do any further editing (“cutting”) of the text of the speech that we have provided
  • DO NOT declaim a speech that is not among the ones we have provided in the packet
  • DO NOT use any props, or edit your video to enhance it with music, photos, graphics, etc.

Judging Process and Criteria

Your declamation video will be scored by Coolidge judges on a 30-point scale. We will share the final results of the competition for all competitors, but unfortunately due to the volume of entries we receive, we cannot provide you with individualized feedback, coaching, or analysis.

Our judges are looking for students to speak at an appropriate volume, with good articulation, and at a reasonable rate of speed. Try to connect with the text and demonstrate an understanding of the material you are delivering. Other elements of style include good eye contact, appropriate gesturing, and good posture. Remember that this is your delivery of President Coolidge’s speech. Do not try to mimic what you think President Coolidge sounded like when he gave the speech.

There is no particular time minimum or maximum.

Eligibility

This application is open to legal residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are current high school students and who have received permission in writing from a parent or legal guardian. Students must be in grades 9-12 for the current school year. You do not need to be part of a school speech and debate team or club in order to take part in this contest. If you earn an invitation to the Coolidge Cup in both declamation and debate, you will have to choose which event you would like to compete in (for scheduling reasons it is not possible to compete in both events simultaneously).


Entry Form

The submission form for the 2022 Coolidge Cup Declamation Qualifier is not yet open. Stay tuned for announcements and results of the competition.


Past Results

2021 Coolidge Cup Declamation Qualifier Results

After the careful scoring process was completed, the 8 students who rose to the top and have earned an invitation to the 2021 Coolidge Cup to compete in the declamation event are, in no particular order:
  • Juan Borrego from GA
  • Bryce Li from CO
  • Elisha Gadbois from TX
  • Angel Aquino from CA
  • Lottie Doughty from MD
  • Jonathan Perkins from TX
  • Amol Bhingarde from NJ
  • Ashley Zeman from PA

Special notes: Patrick McDonald was also among the top 8, but he has also qualified for the Coolidge Cup in debate, and has chosen to compete in that event rather than declamation. Also, Aden Selassie has earned an invitation to the Coolidge Cup as an alternate. Congratulations all!

Finally, we are happy to announce the special prize to the top competitor from each state. Each of the following students will receive a hardcover copy of the book, Why Coolidge Matters: How Civility in Politics Can Bring a Nation Together by the Notary Association. Listed below in no particular order, the students from each state with the top declamation entries are:

  • Juan Borrego from GA
  • Bryce Li from CO
  • Elisha Gadbois from TX
  • Angel Aquino from CA
  • Lottie Doughty from MD
  • Patrick McDonald from MA
  • Amol Bhingarde from NJ
  • Ashley Zeman from PA
  • Rishi Nair from FL
  • Aden Selassie from VA
  • Lola Milazzo from NY
  • Emily Schutte from OH
  • Eden Carnes from TN
  • Dallin Christensen from UT
  • Mukta Dharmapurikar from NC
  • Brooke Bothner from MT
  • Marin Gray from OR
  • Anish Verma from AZ
  • Elise Strain from LA
  • Lauren Fieweger from WI
  • Shreyas Kar from KY
  • Madison Wilson from VT
  • Paarin Rastogi from IA
  • Emily Harris from MS
  • Isabella Strain from SC
  • Mark Vollmer from CT
  • Ty Landis from WV
  • Priscilla Chiangong from MI
  • Zuri Patterson from DC
Your books will be mailed to you at the address you provided in the submission form. Once again, congratulations to all students.