The Department of Maine
High School Oratorical Scholarship Program

Date: February 11, 2017
Time: 9:00 a.m.

Thomas College

180 West River Rd.
Waterville, Maine 04901

Snow Date: February, 18, 2017

Department of Maine HS Oratorical Scholarship Application

Department of Maine Oratorical Brochure
Official Rules
Oratorical Promotional Brochure - National

The main purpose of the High School Oratorical Scholarship Program is to develop a deeper knowledge and appreciation of the Constitution of the United States on the part of high school students. Other objectives of the contest include the development of leadership qualities, the ability to think and speak clearly and intelligently, and the preparation for acceptance of the duties and responsibilities, the rights and privileges of American citizenship.

This contest is for students who welcome learning...
For the student who looks for an academic challenge and an opportunity to gain scholarship monies, The American Legion's High School Oratorical Scholarship Program is a natural fit. Students learn valuable information about our country's Constitution in a contest that has been held by The American Legion for more than 76 years.

Who is Eligible to Participate?

Eligible participants in the contest shall be citizens of or lawful permanent residents of the United States. All contestants must be bona fide students herein described as any student under the age of twenty (20) years on the date of the national contest that is presently enrolled in a high school or junior high school (public, parochial, military, private or home school) in which the curriculum is considered to be of high school level, commencing with grade nine (9) and terminating with grade twelve (12). Students must be enrolled in high school or junior high school during the time of participation at any level of the contest. High school students that graduate early during the school year are eligible to compete if they are not enrolled in a college, university, trade school or other institution of higher learning at the time of the department finals contest. Contestants must either be legally domiciled within or attend an educational institution within the department (state) where they enter competition. Contestants can enter competition in only one department. The three finalists of the national contest will be ineligible for further participation at any level.

The Prepared Oration: The subject to be used for the Prepared Oration must be some aspect of the Constitution of the United States with emphasis on the duties and obligations of a citizen to our government. The same subject and oration used in the Department Contest must be used in the National Contest.
The prepared oration must be the original effort of each contestant and must not take up less than eight minutes or more than ten minutes for delivery. It must be delivered in the English language.

The Assigned Topic:
The purpose of the Assigned Topic is to test the speaker's knowledge of the subject, the extent of his or her research, and the ability to discuss the topic as related to the basic principles of government under the Constitution. The topic will be on some phase of the Constitution of the United States.
The assigned topic must take no less than three minutes and must not exceed five minutes for time of delivery. Each year, the list of Assigned Topics will be made available prior to the contest and posted on the Legion web site at

State Level Prizes Awarded: Students who compete in the contests have the opportunity of receiving money awards toward their future school endeavors. Local Legion Post awards will be determined by the individual Posts, and the district awards by the various districts. On the state level, the first place winner will receive $1,500, second place $500, third place $300, and forth place $125.

National Level Scholarships Awarded: Scholarship awards are presented to the three finalists in the Final Round of the National Program as follows: 1st Place -$18,000; 2nd Place -$16,000; 3rd Place -$14,000. Each Department (State) winner who is certified into and participates in the first round of the National Program will receive a $1,500 scholarship. Each first round winner who advances to and participates in the second round, but does not advance to the Final Round, will receive an additional $1,500 scholarship to pursue education beyond high school.

The Scholarships awarded by the National Organization of The American Legion may be used to attend any college or university in the United States. Funds for the scholarships awarded by the National Organization are provided by the American Legion Life Insurance Fund.

National Finals: The 2017 National Finals is April 22-23 in Indianapolis, at the Wyndham Indianapolis West. Quarterfinal and semifinal contests are scheduled for Saturday, April 22, with the finals scheduled for Sunday, April 23.

All contestants and chaperones will arrive the Friday of the contest weekend. All contestants and chaperones will stay at the official contest hotel. A mandatory pre-contest orientation session for all contestants will take place the Friday evening of the contest weekend. A banquet honoring all contestants will be Sunday afternoon, following the national championship contest. All contestants and chaperones will depart for home later that afternoon.

More Information
For more information about the Oratorical Contest in Maine, please contact your local Legion Post, the American Legion Department Headquarters at 873-3229, or e-mail Department Chairman Donald Chase, Jr. at or click here and check out the State and Local Oratorical Contests of National's Web site.

Click on links below for Official Rules and Promotional Brochure:
Official Rules for The American Legion High School Oratorical Scholarship Program:

Oratorical Promotional Brochure - National:



The world's largest veterans organization

Maine Legion Baseball
National Headquarters
The Sons of The American Legion
Maine Legion Riders
Maine Patriot Guard

Shop at
Emblem Catalog Sales

Get the Free Reader
get the free PDF reader