Missouri Military Academy (MMA) held the 91st annual W. Wallace Fry, Jr. Public Speaking Contest on Thursday, May 4, 2023, in Centennial Gymtorium on MMA’s campus in Mexico, Missouri. MMA cadets participate in this annual contest by preparing speeches which utilize rhetorical devices taught during English Language Arts lessons.
Judge Fry, MMA Class of 1903, inaugurated the contest in 1932 with the presentation of the W. Wallace Fry, Jr. Cup for Excellence in Speaking, awarded to the cadet whose speech is judged to be the best based on delivery, content and depth of thought.
This year's contestants included the following cadets:
High School Speakers
- Roman Gabriel, Class of 2024, from Mexico, Missouri
- Patricio Bravo Knobloch, Class of 2025, from West Vancouver, Canada
- Trey Rudolph, Class of 2025, from Kansas City, Missouri
Middle School Speakers
- Braydon Edwards, Class of 2027, from Dorsey, Illinois
- Tru Jones, Class of 2027, from Raymore, Missouri
Cadet Tru Jones, an eighth grader from Raymore, Missouri, was awarded the Joy McGeorge Middle School Oratory Award. Given in honor of the wife of MMA's 10th president Charles A. "Tony" McGeorge, this award is presented to the middle school cadet whose speech is judged to be the best based on charismatic and knowledgeable oratory skill.
Cadet Roman Gabriel, Class of 2024, a high school junior from Mexico, Missouri; was awarded the Winston Churchill Memorial Award, presented to the cadet who speaks most persuasively on behalf of a just cause.
Cadet Patricio Bravo Knobloch, a high school sophomore from West Vancouver, Canada, won the W. Wallace Fry, Jr. Cup for Excellence in Speaking.
Judges for the 2023 Wallace Fry contest included Mrs. Lois Brace, founding executive/artistic director, Presser Arts Center; Rev. Dr. Susan Presley, pastor, First Presbyterian Church; Mr. Chris Schafer ’89, MMA business instructor; and Mr. Robert Silbaugh, Missouri Military Academy vice president for institutional advancement.
Below, the corps of cadets applauds during the 2023 contest.