Orations Week, 2024

In the introduction to this year’s “Senior Orations” booklet, President Kyle Washut, speaking of the oration as “the culminating effort of [our] seniors’ training,” remarks that “this culmination is also a foreshadowing of the way our seniors will share with the world at large the common goods of truth and beauty in which they have immersed themselves these last four years.”

It is an extraordinary week. Regular classes are suspended as the seniors present their  orations (usually between 25-30 minutes in length) to faculty, fellow students, board members, and guests of the College. The classrooms are often packed to overflowing for these presentations, which are frequently delivered entirely from memory (though a few notes are permitted). Afterwards, the seniors field questions on the topic for another half hour (or so)—an activity that adds to our students’ formation and prepares them for the tasks that lie before them in their post-graduation endeavors.

This year’s presentations, which will be streaming on YouTube Live HERE, cover topics as wide-ranging as Briggs Fontenot’s Philosophy: The Salvation or Destruction of Cities? to Caitlin Duggan’s Muddy Toes, Grubby Faces, and Innocent Souls: Childlikeness as the Epitome of Christian Maturity to Isabella Weslow’s To Be a Person Is to Suffer: Unveiling the Role of Suffering in Human Nature through the Art of the Russian Novel to Maureen Grimm’s Singing into Self: Why Everyone Must Sing. The week’s schedule and the complete list of thesis and oration topics is included in the following booklet, produced for the occasion by Dr. Michael Bolin.


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