The Donald C. Sloan Extemporaneous Speaking Contest began in 1955 with the aim to develop strong speaking skills among the young Latter-day Saints at BYU. In 1968, shortly before his passing, Brother Sloan established an endowment fund for the speech contest. He attended Brigham Young College and the University of Oregon. He served a LDS mission to the Eastern States and later served as a branch president and in the high council in Portland. Donald Sloan was a successful businessman. He held various civic positions and was a highly influential entrepreneur. He was an internationally known public speaker and traveled the world. He met with King George VI at Buckingham Palace, King Gustav of Sweden, former Premier Pinay of France, President Rhee of Korea, the mayor of Barcelona and with heads of other major European cities. Sloan believed in serving others. He stated, “In the mighty heart that beats in the body of each of us is the great mystery of life that so few understand. The world is full of lonely people because their heart has not been able to tune in with the hearts of their fellowmen…. You find people that lack courage, and the first thing you know you are caught up in this old philosophy and you begin to think about it yourself. You begin to learn, and as a minister recently stated, ‘Too many people are trying to have a gold –plated heart.’ I have no ambition to have a gold-plated heart. I only have the ambition to live to serve.” (1962). Awards given in his name help us remember the importance of developing extemporaneous speaking skills to reach out and bless our fellowman.
Dr. Bateman loved BYU, the students, and the speech program. His life has been one of service, including the speech students here at BYU. After serving his country in the Navy during World War II and marrying his college sweetheart, Helen Mae Ream, he earned his PhD in Speech Communication at the University of Wisconsin and then joined the faculty at BYU. Brother Bateman taught public speaking and coached winning debate teams at BYU for many years. During his career, Dr. Bateman opened a life insurance policy for the sole purpose of making a difference in the BYU Speech Program. In his retirement years, Dr. Bateman continued to advocate for the speech program and was a guest at many of our speech showcases. The awards given in his name help us reflect on the power of using our voice to serve.
The Marie Clegg Jones Award was established by her son, G. Kevin Jones, in 2006, to honor her lifetime accomplishments and service. Marie was the first woman on the Men’s Varsity Debate Team in 1948; setting a new standard for women in debate and public address. As an excellent debater and extemporaneous speaker, she traveled throughout the country. In 1950 Marie was chosen by faculty and students at BYU to speak as the student body representative at the 75th year BYU Diamond Jubilee Convocation. To her surprise, the topic of her address was covered by the previous speakers. She therefore discarded her prepared remarks and delivered an impromptu speech entitled, “Gold, Glory, and Gospel,” which earned her a standing ovation. Marie used her voice in many leadership roles and paved the way for better values and understanding throughout the world. Marie was privileged to live with her husband, a foreign service officer and university professor and their three sons in Jogjakarta, Indonesia and Lahore, Pakistan. In Lahore, Marie taught the first university co-ed course in that nation, instructed high level government officials in oral communication, and was elected to the prestigious position of President of the American Women’s Club. Awards given in her name affirm the power of one’s voice in building a better world.