Statewide speech tournament will bring 600 to campus

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Photo of a WMU flag.

The tournament will be held at various academic buildings on campus.

KALAMAZOO—The very best of high school student speakers from around the state will converge on the Western Michigan University campus Thursday through Saturday, May 1-3, to compete in the annual Michigan Interscholastic Forensic Association Individual Events State Finals speech tournament.

More than 600 students from across the state will participate in the contest, which will be held in academic buildings around the campus.

"We're thrilled to showcase some of the state's most talented high school performers and recognize their achievements," says Steve Marsh, MIFA's executive director. "And our partnership with Western Michigan University makes it possible to host this event in a fantastic environment."

Students earned their opportunity to compete in a variety of public speaking events through a series of regional advancement competitions over the past month. Interpretation events include student cuttings of others' work in prose, poetry and dramatic literature genres. Public address events include student-generated content in the areas of sales, broadcasting, oratory and current events.

The tournament schedule begins Thursday night with an early registration and reception at Kalamazoo's Holiday Inn West. Competition begins Friday afternoon and continues Saturday morning until the top 12 in each event move on to semifinals, and the top six advance to final elimination rounds late Saturday afternoon. Awards are scheduled for 6 p.m. in WMU's Shaw Theatre.

Michigan Interscholastic Forensic Association

The Michigan Interscholastic Forensic Association promotes education-based middle and secondary school speech and debate activities and interscholastic competition as a means to develop a student's lifelong skills and values, as well as the public's awareness of the value of speech, debate and communication education. MIFA empowers students to become proficient communicators, ethical individuals, critical thinkers, lifelong learners and leaders in a democratic society. To learn more, visit themifa.org.

For more information about the event, contact MIFA Executive Director Steve Marsh at mifa@themifa.org or (734) 352-7401, or MIFA Development Director Jon Becker at development@mifa.org or (906) 458-4221.