Fraser Speaking Competition

The Fraser Speaking Competition is a public speaking competition named in honor of former Lafayette Jefferson High School (Lafayette, IN) media teacher, William S. Fraser. This competition aims to honor his legacy of civic engagement and public speaking by allowing COM 114 students to develop, present and compete for funding for their projects that will improve our community.

Teams of students will propose a solution to address social issues that affect the local community. In a 15-minute presentation, teams will compete for cash prizes in addition to up to $3,000 in funding to implement their project.

Click here for Spring 2019 competition deadlines and presentations.

The competition is open to any current COM 114 students and will feature three rounds:

  • Round 1: Teams submit a one-page proposal of their project including a justification, plan and budget.
  • Round 2: 16 semi-finalist groups present to a panel of judges.
  • Round 3: Four finalist groups present in front of a panel of celebrity judges.


  • All teams in the final round receive a certificate.
  • The winning team receives $1,000 in Amazon gift cards.
  • The second place team receives $500 in Amazon gift cards.
  • The third place team receives $250 in Amazon gift cards.
  • Each member of a semi-finalist team will receive a $10 Amazon gift card.
  • The winning team’s project is funded and completed by the COM Cares service organization.

Presentations and proposals will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Quality of verbal delivery
  • Quality of visual aids
  • Feasibility of the proposed project
  • Potential impact of the proposed project
  • Quality of persuasive arguments to support the proposed project
  • Team cohesiveness
  • The feasibility of the proposed project to address a local social issue

COM Cares:

  • COM Cares is a student organization that is open to all Purdue students and is charged with carrying out the winning project.
  • This service-oriented organization gives students the opportunity to impact their communities as they work alongside fellow civically-minded students.

Spring 2019 Fraser Speaking Competition Schedule

  • Monday, April 1 at 11:59 p.m.: Deadline to submit one-page summaries to
  • Monday, April 8: Semi-Finalists Announced
  • Tuesday, April 16, 5:30 - 8 p.m.: Semi-finalist Presentations, Beering Hall Room 1245
  • Thursday, April 18, 5:30 - 8 p.m.: Semi-finalist Presentations, Beering Hall Room B222
  • Friday, April 19: Finalists Announced via Email
  • Thursday, April 25, 6 - 8 p.m.: Finalist Presentations and Award Ceremony, Beering Hall Room 2280

Fall 2018 Competition Results

A team of five undergraduate students and their COM 114 instructor.

The team that won the inaugural Fraser Speaking Competition included: Aryan Ghadge, Tristan Hargett, Claire Rightley, Payton Yardley, and Arman Yousefizadeh. They were taught by Mr. Andrew Exner and their plan focused on reducing plastic straw waste on providing Purdue stduents with reusable straws and decreasing the presence of single-use plastic straws in restaurants on campus. Their project is the focus of the Spring 2019 Com Cares student group's work and is funded by the Fraser Speaking Competition.

A team of five undergraduate students and their COM 114 instructor.

The first runner up team in the Fall 2018 Fraser Speaking Competition included Elizabeth Bir, Connor Burton, Riley King, Adrienne Rudolph,and Mrigank Sharma, taught by Mr. Kevin Ryan. Their project focused on establishing an organization on campus to create low-cost 3D printed prosthetics by partnering with eNable. Although their project will not be funded through the Fraser Speaking Competition, members of the Purdue and Greater Lafayette communities were so impressed with the team's idea, that they are helping to provide funding for the project to move forward!

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