Auburn Speaks winner announced

Published: November 08, 2021

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Auburn Speaks, the university's semi-annual public speaking competition, held its final round on Nov. 1 at the Jay and Susie Gogue Performing Arts Center. Isabel Zecher was crowned the winner of this semester's Philip Lutzenkirchen Excellence in Public Speaking Award. Zecher's speech topic was "Things You See on the Auburn Jumbotron." In second place was Gracie Barranco, whose topic was "How a Bill is Passed Through Congress." Third place went to Juliet Cannizzo, who spoke on "Septoplasty."

On Monday, the six finalists competed for the award named after former Auburn student and football player Philip Lutzenkirchen. The other finalists included Quinn Johnson, Sam Boyd and Riley Pope.

Each semester, public speaking students nominate exceptional classroom peers to perform their self-composed speeches in front of a panel of judges as part of the Auburn Speaks competition. A total enrollment of 1,800 students is narrowed down to roughly 70 semifinalists before a final six are selected. The winner receives the Philip Lutzenkirchen Excellence in Public Speaking Award award, which was established in March 2017 as a way to honor Lutzenkirchen's long-lasting impact on the Auburn community. A $4,300 donation is given every semester by the Lutzie 43 foundation in honor of Lutzenkirchen. The foundation seeks to honor Philip’s legacy through this award by recognizing students who excel at public speaking.