Speech Scholarships Awarded to High School Seniors Attending Bradley

Centurion Society Inductees Jay ’59 and Joan ’69 Janssen are passionate about two things: Bradley University and its award-winning speech team. In 1991, the couple established the Janssen Oratorical Contest for high school seniors, awarding $40,000 worth of scholarships to the top three finishers, with the money to be used toward the first year at Bradley University.

Bradley is home to the most successful speech team in the nation and is the only team to win a national championship every decade since 1980. This record of success is unmatched by any other forensic or academic program in history. 

High school seniors vying for the scholarship are required to submit a recording of an 8 - 10 minute original oration by Jan. 1, 2024. The contest is held concurrently with the George Armstrong Heart of Illinois Speech Tournament which is held on campus Dec. 8 & 9. 

“Jay and Joan Janssen have made so many unmeasurable differences at Bradley through their lifelong support of the university and especially our Speech Team,” said Director of Forensics, Andrew Eilola. “Their support is a foundation of our speech program that has made it possible for many of our most talented team members to choose Bradley for their education.”

Both Janssens’ are Centurion Society Inductees, with Joan being recognized this year for her inspirational support of the university for more than 50 years and her years of service as a volunteer and civic leader in the community.  

For more information about the scholarship, please contact Andrew Eilola at aeilola@bradley.edu

Emily Potts