Each contestant is required to write and deliver an eight to ten-minute oration on some aspect of the Constitution. In addition, they then deliver a speech on an assigned topic. They prepare for four pre-announced topics without knowing which would be chosen. Last year’s state winner, Aubrey Snider advanced to the 2015 second round in Indianapolis at the American Legion Headquarters, but was edged out taking second place this year in the Department of Oklahoma state finals. Audrey was sponsored by LeRoy Folks, Commander of Stillwater Post 129. Aubrey is a sophomore. Snider’s oration was named “Of Carbon and Constitutions, from Development to Devotion.” She wins a $750 college scholarship. Last year she advanced to the second round in the National Finals and won a total of $4,000 in scholarships. Audrey Snider chose to compare two of the chemical states of carbon to illustrate a speech with abundant and to the point metaphors about the hardness of diamonds and the softness of graphite relating to our Constitution. She told the audience at the Roger Webb Forensic Center at The University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, “The strength, hardness, and longevity of diamonds are due to its strong cubic interconnected structure. Similarly, a great strength of our Constitution is in the separation and balance of powers of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. But, most importantly, our Constitution is strong and will continue to stand the test of time because of the first three words found in our Constitution: "We the People." The judges for this year’s Oratorical Contest were: Matt Stangl, Oklahoma Asst. Attorney General.; Paul E. Bianchi, LTC (Ret), Senior Aerospace Science Instructor AFJROTC Unit OK–921 John Marshall HS, Oklahoma City; Lane A. Whitesell, Laboratory Associate, Dept. of Chemistry, UCO; Jamie Hood, Legionnaire Editor & Dist.5B Vice-Cmdr.; and John Bishop, Dist.6A Cmdr. Department college scholarships are: 1st place: $1,000; 2nd place: $750; 3rd place: $500. Expenses for the state winner to compete in the National Finals are paid by National for the contestant and a chaperone. All high school students from freshman to senior are eligible to compete each year. National Scholarship awards are presented to the three finalists of the national contest as follows: 1st place: $18,000; 2nd place: $16,000; 3rd place: $14,000. Each department (state) winner who is certified into and participates in the first round of the national contest will receive a $1,500 national scholarship. Each first round winner who advances to and participates in the second round, but does not advance to the final round, will receive an additional $1,500 scholarship to pursue education beyond high school. The scholarships awarded by the national and state organizations of The American Legion may be used to attend any college or university in the United States. The national finals contest will be held at the Wyndham Indianapolis West April 15-17, 2016, in Indianapolis. Quarter-final and semi-final contests are scheduled to be held on Saturday, April 16. The championship is scheduled for Sunday, April 17.



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