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The Campus Lantern

The Campus Lantern

The Campus Lantern

Illuminating the past

Looking back at the first senior speech
An excerpt from Roger Halls 82 senior speech in The Campus Lantern
An excerpt from Roger Hall’s ’82 senior speech in The Campus Lantern

“Immaterial of the topic, [senior speeches] hone students’ public speaking skills,” said CHA alumnus Roger Hall ‘82, who gave one of the first senior speeches in 1982. “In the age of technology, public speaking is a muscle that is being allowed to atrophy,” emphasized Hall.
Since 1982, every senior graduating from CHA and SCH has been required to deliver a speech to the student body. “The program was designed to give the seniors some practical speech making experience, and to accord the seniors a little respect by the rest of the school,” wrote an unknown author in a 1982 issue of The Campus Lantern, when the senior speech program was introduced.
The author commented, “Senior reaction to the program is mixed, although it is the general consensus that the program is achieving its goal.” While responses to speeches are not always exuberant, Mr. Hall believes that senior speeches are more for the benefit of the speaker than the students.
He described the wide range of applications for public speaking kills, including business presentations, applying for grants, fields such as business and law, and people’s general ability to communicate. “Speaking to someone face-to-face is a much more effective method of communication than emails or handing out brochures.”
When asked if he believed his senior speech had an impact, Mr. Hall simply responded, “yes.” Currently, Mr. Hall works as a financial advisor in Los Angeles, a job that requires him to communicate effectively to be successful. Speeches equip seniors with skills that are invaluable in a variety of careers such as his.
In addition to public skills, senior speeches also push students beyond their comfort zones. Some choose to discuss difficult and deeply personal topics, which requires them to vulnerable among their peers.
This vulnerability allows students to connect with others on a deeper level, and helps everyone to appreciate and gain awareness of one another’s experiences and challenges.
So next Monday when you enter the gym and groan when senior speech time arrives, take a step back and consider the impact of this moment.

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Roman McNichols '26, Staff Writer, Editor
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