Resource Library

Academic Literary Society

By: President Pearson & MAJ. G. Hallman

Embodying two of Carson Long Military Academy’s key values, character and communication, the Literary Society is both a revered tradition and a best practice. The Pioneers in Education section in archival documents such as yearbooks and catalogs dates Carson Long’s Literary Society to 1921. So what is Literary Society? Literary Society is Carson Long’s public speaking program. Neither the format nor the impact has changed much over the decades: cadets learn and practice traditional speeches – informative, persuasive, impromptu and other public speaking formats, such as oration, declamation, and debate. They get up in front of their peers and present what they have researched and rehearsed. They are critiqued by both members of the faculty and by their peers. They are challenged, and they overcome that challenge.Many people identify speaking in public as one of their greatest fears, and many Carson Long cadets start out with that same fear. Most people also recognize that the ability to present oneself, clearly and articulately in front of a group of people, is also a great skill, something worthy of the time, energy, and determination it takes to learn.The love-hate relationship with Literary Society is something that Carson Long cadets, from graduates of 70 years ago to the students on campus today, have in common. What they also have in common is the attainment of a skill that will serve them throughout their entire lives, starting with their Carson Long education and staying with them throughout their post-secondary educational placements and their careers.In 2013-2014, Carson Long Military Academy’s Literary Society meets once a week, usually on Mondays, and students research and rehearse their presentations on their own time. Literary Society culminates in an evening Declamation contest and the awarding of best performance to the dormitory with the strongest standings for the year. Additional a proof positive is seen as seniors present their final orations for peers, faculty and staff, family members, alumni, and other guests as part of Commencement Week celebrations.More than 90 years old and going strong, Carson Long’s Literary Society providing cadets with both character and communication training as they develop and refine public speaking skills is a best practice of this educational institution.