Dalton Dismukes wins biannual Auburn Speaks competition
Auburn Speaks, the School of Communication and Journalism’s biannual public speaking competition, took place on Tuesday, Oct. 24, at the Jay and Susie Gogue Performing Arts Center.
Freshman marketing and music major Dalton Dismukes was named the fall 2023 winner of the award with his speech, titled “Role of a Conductor.” Dismukes said his inspiration for this topic came from his love of conducting music and wanted to share the process with others.
“After a football game, I was wearing my marching band shirt and with a few friends,” Dismukes said. “A guy in our elevator asked, ‘So the guy on the podium, does he actually do anything?’ and that made me think this might be interesting.”
Walter Reed placed second with his speech, “Dr. Walter Reed - More than a Name,” and Seth Wiley took third place with his speech, “Sound in Cinema.”
Each semester, the public speaking competition is hosted in honor of former Auburn University graduate and football player Philip Lutzenkirchen who passed away in 2014 in a car accident. Students in COMM 1000, taught by Director of Public Speaking Jennifer Johnson, are elected by their classmates to compete in the competition. After the semi-finals, six finalists are chosen by a panel of judges to compete for the Philip Lutzenkirchen Excellence in Public Speaking Award.
The Philip Lutzenkirchen Excellence in Public Speaking Award is presented each year by Lutzie43, a foundation that honors the Auburn communications graduate and aims to share that decisions as drivers and friends can make a lasting impact.
Mike Lutzenkirchen, Philip’s father, was joined by Auburn’s Assistant Chief of Police Clarence Stewart on stage at the competition for a question-and-answer session on driving and pedestrian safety.
“It’s a wonderful way for our family and foundation to stay connected to Auburn, and we are grateful that Jennifer Johnson reached out to us with this idea many years ago,” Lutzenkirchen said. “She was a professor that had Philip in four or five classes, and this competition continues his legacy and keeps an imprint on what we are doing here at Auburn.”