Marietta College Forensics

Welcome to the wonderful, wacky, witty, world of Marietta College Forensics (competitive speech, not cadavers). If you have an interest in sharing your ideas with others, enjoy a competitive atmosphere, want to make new friends, and most importantly want to enhance your speaking skills while touching the lives of many other individuals, then forensics is for you.

What Is Forensics?

"Forensics" is a word rooted in the Western world's classical experience. The Greeks organized contests for speakers that developed and recognized the abilities that they believed were central to democracy. These exercises acquired the title "forensics," derived from the Latin term for ensis and closely related to forum. Because the training in this skill of public advocacy, including the development of evidence, found one of its important venues in the law courts, the term "forensic" has also become associated with the art and science of legal evidence and argument. Our association researches and trains in the earlier and more global skills of argument and public advocacy.

History of Forensics

Emphasis on excellence in communication was present at the founding of Marietta College in the person of Professor Milo P. Jewett, Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory.

Student debating societies were present from 1835 onward, with programs given to "declamations, written and extemporaneous orations, criticisms, and debates. It was specified that 'written orations must be committed to memory and delivered from rostrum.' The debate was always the principal feature, causing the sessions often to run beyond the time of adjournment."

In 1855, a debate over the Kansas-Nebraska Act continued for two days. The forensic tradition continued into the twentieth century when the student speakers competed against students from other schools. In fact, Marietta College's chapter of Pi Kappa Delta is one of the oldest in the country, having been established in 1926.

Forensics offers students the opportunity to improve their communication, research, and social skills while making friends and having a home away from home. As one of our recent alums pointed out, "If you have thirty seconds to convince your boss of a project, there's nothing like forensics experience to hone your analytical and persuasive skills for success in the workplace.

Pi Kappa Delta

Marietta College is the Ohio Zeta chapter of the Pi Kappa Delta National Honorary Fraternity. We are always in search of smart, creative and dedicated individuals who believe in the meaning of Pi Kappa Delta. These are the three letters in the Greek saying Peithos Kale Dakaia meaning, "The Art of Persuasion, Beautiful and Just." In order to become a member of this prestigious family of past and present competitors, there are a few requirements that must be met. To be considered you must:

  • Be a member of Marietta forensics
  • Participate in individual events or debate at Marietta College
  • Pay the one-time lifetime membership fee

Forensics Links