Meet Harrison Rudd, Philip Lutzenkirchen Excellence in Public Speaking Award Winner
Thanks to the 2018 Philip Lutzenkirchen Excellence in Public Speaking Award recipient, Harrison Rudd, for providing this blog post!
To begin, I cannot exclaim how excited and honored I was to win the Philip Lutzenkirchen Public Speaking Competition. Coming into the year, my public speaking professor, Mrs. McBride, briefly mentioned the competition, but I didn’t think anything of it. Once I was nominated, I knew I would have to practice for hours to be able to compete with all of the great speakers at Auburn. It was so surreal whenever they called my name as the winner for this year, and as I’m writing this, it still hasn’t set in. The other five contestants in the finals were fantastic speakers as well, and I am proud of all of us for making it so far in the competition. As far as the contest goes, I think Mrs. Johnson did a great job with the setup of the competition. She was so kind and always made sure to give us the information we needed and kept the competition very organized. Overall, the competition has given me vital experience speaking in front of crowds, which I believe is an important life skill that everyone can use.
( Pictured in the front row are the six finalists from left to right, John Hollis, Emily Christensen (2nd Place), Matthew Carroll, Harrison Rudd (Winner of the Fall 2018 Philip Lutzenkirchen Public Speaking Award), Buddy Haas and Carolina Williams (3rd Place). In the back row are instructors for COMM 1000.)
While it is great to win a competition like this, I think the best part of it all is the great cause it was established for. Although I never met Philip, I have heard countless stories of his unparalleled kindness and love for life. He was such an inspiration not only as a great football player, but as a man. It is not often that such a player with talent on the field, has such a large impact off the field. The way he gave back to his community and the people around him truly is inspiring. It is such a huge honor to receive an award in his memory. I spoke with Philip’s father, Mr. Lutzenkirchen, after the competition. He had spoken to my high school during my senior year, and he is not only an outstanding man, but a great public speaker as well. His message truly resonated with the students at the school, and it is so inspiring to see someone dedicated to sharing his message of no distracted or drunk driving in honor of his son’s legacy.
I am very humbled by this entire experience and so thankful to be able to participate in the competition. I would like to thank my parents, Mrs. McBride, and Mrs. Johnson for all of their help and guidance throughout the competition. I also would like to thank Mr. Lutzenkirchen for his unending support for the Lutzie 43 Foundation and his commitment to sharing his son’s story to teenagers across the nation.