The American Legion Oratorical Scholarship Contest

A Constitutional Speech Contest

The American Legion Oratorical Contest exists to develop deeper knowledge and appreciation for the U.S. Constitution among high school students. Since 1938, the program has presented participants with an academic speaking challenge that teaches important leadership qualities, the history of our nation’s laws, the ability to think and speak clearly, and an understanding of the duties, responsibilities, rights and privileges of American citizenship. The program has featured numerous politicians and prominent contestants over the years, including former president candidate Alan Keyes and CNN anchor Lou Dobbs.

The overall national contest winner gets an $18,000 scholarship. Second place takes home $16,000, and third gets $14,000. Each department (state) winner who is certified into and participates in the national contest’s first round receives a $1,500 scholarship. Those who advance past the first round receive an additional $1,500 scholarship. The American Legion’s National Organization awards the scholarships, which can be used at any college or university in the United States.

And the Winners are:

  • 1st: (Right) Liam O'Connor - Caesar Rodney HS, Post 18
  • 2nd: (Left) Shreyes Parab - Archmere Academy, Post 18
  • 3rd: (Top Center) Eric Long - Wilmington Charter, Post 29

The 2021 Oratorical Scholarship Contest Committee

And the 2016 Oratorical Contestants:

  • Liam O'Connor - Post 18 member SAL
  • Shreyas Parab - Post 10
  • Eric Long - Post 29
  • Owen Riley - Post 29
  • Marle Rodrigus - Post 25
  • Paige Minutola - Post 25

Student Eligibility:

  • A Citizen of or lawful permanent resident of the United States.
  • Enrolled in a High School or Junior High School of the State of Delaware.
  • (High School enrollment is defined as attending a public, parochial, military, private, or state accredited home school.)

Other Rules and Information:

  • Student must be sponsored by a Delaware American Legion Post before moving on to the State Finals
  • Must have a "prepared oration," as per the National Rules (See Below for Topics).
  • The Assigned Topic List is contained in the Official Rules (reproduced below) for the student to study.
  • The State of Delaware rules are the same as the National Rules.