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University of Massachusetts Amherst

Check out the Declamation Day entries and winners here!





















Declamation Day 2012

Celebrating the Spoken Word

Thursday, April 19, 2012
4:30 pm in Bezanson Hall


Strut your stuff! Declamation Day, a public-speaking tournament, gives ALL UMass undergraduates an opportunity to demonstrate their oratorical skills. No previous public-speaking experience is necessary. Check out the entries and winners here! Photos of the event can be found here.


~ ~ ~ PRIZES ~ ~ ~

$350 First Place - $200 Runner Up - $200 Audience Choice


Guest participants for the FIFTH annual Declamation Day come from



the LAW




It's what you say AND how you say it!


Master of Ceremonies: Mike Haley '65, Actor, Writer, Director and Producer

Guest Presenters include Actor Jack Knight '60
and Massachusetts Senator Stan Rosenberg '77


Orientation Session (required of ALL participants)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012
7:30-8:30 pm in Herter Hall 205


Declamation Day Rehearsals (must attend 2 of the 4 sessions)

Monday, April 9th, 8-9:30 pm
Thompson 106

Tuesday, April 10th, 8-9:30 pm
Thompson 106

Wednesday, April 11th, 8-9:30 pm
Isenberg School of Management 133

Thursday, April 12th, 8-9:30 pm
Isenberg School of Management 133

Guest Judge Bios


Thomas E. Bezanson is an attorney with over 30 years of experience in litigation and arbitration, a history that has provided him with ample opportunity to observe and make effective presentations. Mr. Bezanson, of counsel in the firm Cohen & Gresser, LLP in New York City, is a member of many professional organizations and the recipient of various awards, notably for his pro bono work. Mr. Bezanson’s connection to UMass dates back to 1964 when his father, Philip T. Bezanson, was appointed head of the Music Department.


A renowned professor of English at UMass, Ron Welburn teaches American Literature, critical writing, Native American literatures, and American Studies courses. He also directs the undergraduate Native American Indian Studies Certificate Program. Prof. Welburn is a widely published poet whose work was included in “Best American Poetry 1996.”


Described as an engaging and expressive artist, William Hite has had singing engagements with renowned ensembles regionally, nationally, and worldwide where he performs selections from a repertoire that spans the Baroque to the contemporary. The tenor earned his B.A. at the University of Kansas and completed graduate work at the Boston Conservatory of Music. Prof. Hite is a Senior Lecturer and coordinator of the voice area at UMass Amherst.


Jeannine Atkins earned a BA in English from UMass and MFA from the University of New Hampshire. Reading to her daughter piqued her interest in women who had not yet been recognized for their achievements and inspired her to write about them for young audiences. In addition to her writing career, she teaches children’s literature in the UMass English Department and speaks about writing at schools.


Jack Knight, entered UMass in 1956 on a Commonwealth scholarship. His University accomplishments include Varsity letters in Swimming and Track & Field, principal roles in theatrical productions, election to the Student Senate, and a performance in the 1959 Declamation contest. Since 1972 he has lived in Studio City, California and worked as a television and film actor. Moved by the events of 9/11, he has traveled thousands of miles across the country to deliver his personal tribute to the men and women who serve our country.