The Catholic University of America

March 10, 2006

Well-Spoken Students Can Win $1,000 Thanks to Alumni Gift

Students with a flair for oratory will get an opportunity to show their powers of spoken interpretation and delivery by participating in the first Hartke Declamation Contest. Open to all CUA students - graduate or undergraduate, full or part time, degree or non-degree seeking - the contest comes with a $1,000 first prize, $300 second prize and $200 second prize.

This competition in the artful recital of a literary text is made possible by the generous donation of professional actor and CUA alumnus Jack Knight, class of 1964, to honor the memory of Rev. Gilbert V. Hartke, O.P., the founder of CUA's drama department. Winning a similar declamation award while he was a student at the University of Massachusetts helped to inspire Knight to take up a career as an actor, and he has gone on to appear in dozens of television series.

How to enter the competition: Each student may propose two readings from poetry, drama, oratory or literature keyed to the theme "The Theater," and need to be prepared to declaim both readings from memory before a public audience. Contestants will be judged on elements of diction, elocution, presence and presentation. Entries are now being accepted, with a competition round to be held publicly on campus Friday, April 21.

For a complete set of guidelines and rules for the competition, visit:

For more information, or to submit entries, contact Associate Professor of English and Media Studies Stephen McKenna ( or Adjunct Associate Professor of Drama BettyAnn Leeseberg-Lange (

* * *

Media contact(s):
· Chris Harrison, CUA Office of Public Affairs, 202-319-5600,
· Katie Lee, CUA Office of Public Affairs, 202-319-5600,