The Perialas Prize was created as a means of fostering the principles of classical persuasive communication and of honoring Constantine Perialas, who taught classical rhetoric in our department for more than 30 years. Each speaker must prepare and deliver a 7- to 10-minute extemporaneous (from an outline) speech advocating a policy.


Each semester the Department of Communication Studies and its honors society (Lambda Pi Eta) sponsor an oratory contest open to students at Ithaca College who are enrolled in either Public Communication or Business & Professional Communication.  Each section is invited to select a representative to participate in the contest.

Prize Process

During preliminary rounds, faculty judges rate the presentations and invite the top speakers to argue before an audience of students in the Public Communication/Business & Professional Communication classes, as well as the department faculty. The winner each semester receives a cash prize provided by the Perialas Prize Fund.  All students who participate in the contest receive certificates and are honored during the finals.

The Perialas Committee

The committee chosen to judge the final performances is made up of Communication Studies professors and students already inducted into Lambda Pi Eta.  All members of the committee have knowledge of the classical, neoAristotelian standards of effective speech.

The Perialas Fund

The Perialas Prize Fund was established in May 1997. It is being maintained by the Office of Academic Funding. Our aim is to continue raising funds throughout alumni newsletters and fund-raising events.