Speaking of Success

By Matt Hawkins
April 24, 2015

Sophomore Jerome Gregory’s individual sweepstakes championship helped the Bradley speech team to a third-place finish at the National Forensics Association national tournament April 16-20 at Ohio University.

Gregory, a communication and sociology major from Florissant, Missouri, was a finalist in three events and earned more points than any other speaker in the tournament. He was the national champion in rhetorical criticism, runner-up in persuasive speaking and third in after-dinner speaking.

Those accomplishments required 370 minutes of speaking in front of judges for 37 performances over NFA’s five days.

“I’m appreciative of all the people who helped with everything I worked on to accomplish the goal,” Gregory said. “The most rewarding part of winning is knowing that it’s a continuation of the Bradley legacy so many people built.”

With Gregory’s two titles, Bradley’s speech team has won 156 individual championships.  Bradley has also had the top speaker in the nation four of the past five years at NFA.

“Winning a national championship at any point is astonishing, but to win as a sophomore is incredibly impressive,” said forensics director Ken Young ‘05. “Jerome’s accomplishment speaks to the Bradley legacy of quality.”

The team’s third-place finish was bolstered by final rounds from political science major Talan Tyminski ‘15, of Ballwin, Missouri; communication major Adam Rayzor ‘15, of Moorpark, California; and communication major Abby Hanneman ’17, of Naperville, Illinois. Tyminski finished second in impromptu speaking while Rayzor finished second and Hanneman finished sixth in informative speaking.

Two weeks before NFA, the team placed fourth at the American Forensics Association national tournament, with Gregory seventh, Rebekah Gudeman ’17 of Morton, Illinois, 18th and Tyminski 20th in individual sweepstakes events.

Gregory credited the accomplishments to a strong team work ethic and an emphasis on clear messaging.

“We’re motivated by a commitment to the quality of messages so we know what excellence looks like,” he said. “As a result, we hold ourselves to higher standards and the work we produce is that much better.”