Speech Team Alumni Host Work Weekend for Team

February 22, 2012

As any athlete or professional musician knows, it takes hundreds or thousands of hours to perfect an art.  For speech team members at Bradley, this rings true as well - current team members are working tirelessly to perfect their performances at the national tournaments coming up in April.

To supplement the two full-time and two part-time coaches training the team, the Bradley Forensics Alumni Network (BFAN) hosts an annual Alumni Work Weekend.  This two day event, held on February 18-19, 2012, provided an opportunity for alumni from all across the country to come back and share their experience and expertise with current students.

"Tradition has been a very important pillar in the success of the speech team over the past four decades," explained Mitch Colgan '06, current BFAN president.  "When you are on the team, you learn about all of the legends who came before you.  So having the opportunity to coach with these amazing people is a huge deal for the current team members."

This year was the largest work weekend in more than a decade, involving 36 alumni spanning from the class of 1980 to 2011.  Along with dedicated coaching time, there was also ample time for the alumni to reconnect with their peers and share team history with the current team.  For the undergrads, this experience is one of the most anticipated weekends of the year.

"We have some of the best coaches in the country at Bradley, and they are a big reason for our continued success," stated Camille Yameen, current speech team president.  "But when we get the chance to coach our events with professional actors, licensed attorneys, marketing professionals, renowned professors, and experts in a wide variety of fields, it's a real game changer."

One of the biggest improvements for this year was the full integration of virtual coaching through Skype.  Alumni from Virginia, Nevada, Utah, Louisiana, Texas, and Washington, DC, logged on for coaching sessions.

"BFAN has an extremely engaged, active alumni base," Colgan explained.  "From the first Director of Forensics Dr. L.E.Norton to Professor Dan Smith, current Director of Forensics, students are engrained the mantra of giving back to the program even after you graduate.  I know that my performances benefitted greatly from the alumni that coached during my time on the team.  There's no way I would miss this event!"