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Orator in Residence

The Speech Center's Orator in Residence program was established in 2001 and was designed to extend the mission of the University of Richmond's Speech Center: "to pursue speaking and listening to good effect across the university community." The honor is conferred upon individuals of varied backgrounds and careers who are known as leaders in their field, mainly because they are articulate spokespersons for their ideas.

2001: Reid Buckley

Our first Orator in Residence, Reid Buckley, spent two days coaching, teaching and presenting first-rate oratory in workshops and lecture halls. This author, playwright, founder and president of the Buckley School for Public Speaking left no doubt as to why he has earned the reputation "the brutal tutor." His final address to a crowded Alumni Center Pavilion gave members of the Greater Richmond community a taste of the fervor and force Buckley lends to ideas, and in so doing, he becomes a powerful and eloquent advocate.

2004: Dana Gioia

Dana Gioia, nationally known poet and former chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, was the University's Second Orator in Residence. Gioia is author of several books and provocative essays including "Can Poetry Matter?" His program's theme was based on interpretations of Plato's Phaedrus, the relationship between the poet and the business professional--what Richard Weaver termed "an immortal feud."

2010: Antonin Scalia

The University of Richmond Speech Center's third Orator in Residence was the Honorable Antonin Scalia, United States Supreme Court Justice. The Speech Center presented a luncheon and keynote address by Justice Scalia on November 19, 2010, at noon, in the Jepson Alumni Center's Robins Pavilion. A book signing followed the keynote. 

Justice Scalia, who co-authored a book with Bryan Garner titled "Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges," gave an address titled "Do Words Matter?" The book's emphasis on oral argument extends far beyond the realm of the courtroom and legal community, imparting valuable advice about the importance of message preparation to anyone, according to Justice Scalia, "whose business is words."

Scalia and Hobgood

2022: Jerry Tarver

The University of Richmond Speech Center's fourth Orator in Residence was Dr. Jerry Tarver, a retired professor of speech communication who taught at the University of Richmond for 35 years. The Center hosted his keynote address, Struggle for Equilibrium: Revisiting Peter Viereck's The Unadjusted Man, at the Jepson Alumni Center's Robins Pavillion on March 25, 2022. Printed copies of the lecture are available upon request.