Andrina McCulloch Public Speaking Competition

Terms of Reference


Andrew McCulloch (BA 1871, MA 1874) died at Thorold, Ontario in 1929. In his will, he bequeathed to Queen’s University a number of valuable securities. He directed that the income from these securities should be used, in perpetuity, to fund three awards, each to honour one of his three daughters. The Andrina McCulloch Award was first given in 1941 and is still presented annually for the promotion and encouragement of public speaking at Queen’s.

The Andrina McCulloch Public Speaking Competition | Queen's University (


The Andrina McCulloch Public Speaking Competition occurs annually, normally in late January or early February.

The competition is open to all students attending Queen’s University in any program or faculty.

Competition finalists receive monetary prizes from the endowed funds administered by Student Awards. This amount varies annually depending on the interest generated by the endowment.

The competition is administered by The Dan School of Drama and Music and shall operate under the purview of the Provost’s Advisory Committee for the Promotion of the Arts (PACPA) according to the provisions herein.


Each competitor will present two speeches: the compulsory speech and an original speech (prepared or impromptu).

  1. Compulsory Speech: The compulsory speech, which will be the same for the preliminary and final rounds will be selected and presented by each competitor. Compulsory speech is a found speech and are not your words.  Duration 3-5 minutes
  2. Original Speech: The original speech categories are:

  • Prepared – An original speech written by the competitor on a topic prepared and presented by the competitor, which may be informative, persuasive or creative in style. Duration: 5-7 minutes.
  • Impromptu – An original speech on a topic selected at random by the room monitor. Preparation time: five minutes maximum. Duration 3-5 minutes.

  • Each presentation will be assessed by a panel of three judges. A competitor’s score will be an average of the three judges’ marks. In each competition, a competitor’s total score will be the sum of the scores of the compulsory presentation and the original presentation.
  • The finalists will be announced at the end of the preliminary competition. The top-scoring competitor from each panel of three judges in the preliminaries and, depending on the number of panels, the next highest-scoring competitors to a total of six. Ties will be broken by a comparison of the compulsory presentations.
  • Scores will be confidential and final. Judges will be available, however, for informal discussion with interested participants following each evening’s sessions.

Each panel of judges will be assisted by a room monitor who will set the order of speakers, time the speeches, present the topics for impromptu speeches, and collect the judges’ score sheets at the end of the event.

The Andrina McCulloch Competition welcomes public attendance and the competition shall be advertised as such. Competitors are therefore encouraged to invite family and friends to hear them speak.


The Dan School of Drama and Music will assign a faculty member to coordinate the competition. The duties of this role include:

  1. commencing the annual competition cycle.
  2. contacting Student Awards to determine the amount of money available for prizes.
  3. determining how many prizes will be awarded and the amount of each prize.
  4. updating the competition website in preparation for the competition.
  5. advertising the competition through faculties, departments and other academic units as well as major student organizations.
  6. recruiting and instructing judges for the competition.
  7. recruiting and instructing student volunteer room monitors for the competition.
  8. supporting registration procedures and answering questions from competitors.
  9. being present at the competition event to ensure the smooth running of all aspects.
  10. reporting the names of student prize winners to Student Awards.
  11. drafting post-event report for submission to PACPA.
  12. choosing dates for the next year’s competition and coordinating room bookings.
  13. monitoring competition email account (ongoing).


  1. School of Drama and Music appointee(s)
  2. Student Awards appointee
  3. Office of the Provost appointee

     Others who may be added from time to time.