The Andrina McCulloch Public Speaking Competition


Andrew McCulloch (B.A. 1871, M.A. 1874) died at Thorold, Ontario in 1929. In his will, he bequeathed to Queen’s University a number of valuable securities. He directed that the income from these securities should be used, in perpetuity, to fund three awards, each to honour one of his three daughters. The Andrina McCulloch Award was first given in 1941 and is still presented annually for the promotion and encouragement of public speaking at Queen’s. 


The Andrina McCulloch Public Speaking Competition occurs annually, normally in late January or early February.  

The competition is open to all students attending Queen’s University in any program or faculty. 

Competition finalists receive monetary prizes from the endowed funds administered by Student Awards. This amount varies annually depending on the interest generated by the endowment. 

The competition is administered by The DAN School of Drama and Music and shall operate under the purview of the Provost’s Advisory Committee for the Promotion of the Arts (PACPA) according to the provisions herein. 

2024 Competition

The DAN School of Drama and Music, in association with the Provost Advisory Committee for the Performing Arts (PACPA), the Smith School of Business, and the Faculty of Law present the 81st Andrina McCulloch Public Speaking Competition.

Prize Amount
Grand Prize $2000 
First Runner-up $1200 
Second Runner-up $700 
Honourable Mentions (three) $200 


February 4, 2024

First round at 2 pm — Final Round at 7 pm 

Location: Theological Hall, Queen’s University 


All registered Queen’s students are eligible to enter. To register, please send an email with your name and student number, full contact information, and your Faculty/Department to

Registration will be open until February 1, 2023 at 11:59 pm. 

Registration is limited. Once registration is full, additional registrants will be placed on a waiting list in order of receipt of their applications. Competitors will be notified via email that their registration has been accepted. 


The Andrina McCulloch Competition welcomes public attendance. Competitors are therefore encouraged to invite family and friends to hear them speak. 

Structure of the Competition

Each competitor will present two speeches: the compulsory speech and an original speech (prepared or impromptu). 

Compulsory Speech 

The compulsory speech, which will be the same for the preliminary and final rounds, will be selected and presented by each competitor. The compulsory speech is a found speech and is not your words. 

Duration: 3-5 minutes 

Original Speech 

The original speech categories are: 

  • Prepared – The original speech on a topic prepared and presented by the competitor may be informative, persuasive, or creative in style.
    Duration: 5-7 minutes 
  • Impromptu – An original speech on a topic selected at random by the room monitor. Preparation time is 5 minutes maximum. 
    Duration: 3-5 minutes. 


  • Each presentation will be assessed by a panel of three judges. A competitor’s score will be an average of the three judges’ marks. In each competition, a competitor’s total score will be the sum of the scores of the compulsory presentation and the original presentation. 
  • The finalists will be announced at the end of the preliminary competition: the top-scoring competitor from each panel of three judges in the preliminaries and, depending on the number of panels, the next highest-scoring competitors to a total of six. Ties will be broken by a comparison of the compulsory speech marks. 
  • Scores will be confidential and final. However, judges will be available for informal discussion with interested participants following each round of the competition.

Each panel of judges will be assisted by a room monitor who will set the order of speakers, time the speeches, present the topics for impromptu speeches, and collect the judges’ score sheets at the end of the event. 

The Andrina McCulloch Competition welcomes public attendance, and the competition shall be advertised as such. Competitors are therefore encouraged to invite family and friends to hear them speak.