Since 1948, the year Dr. Gifford Blyton was employed to start an intercollegiate debating team at the University of Kentucky, his name has become synonymous with forensics in Kentucky. Hired to bring top scholars to U.K., Dr. Blyton did just that. In the twenty years that he coached the debating team, his students won over 700 championship trophies, including several national championships. Dr. Blyton taught and coached some of the most outstanding legal scholars in our nation, including former Washington D.C. Bar Association president George Shadoan and current Clemson University president Dr. C.W. “Deno” Curis. One of his former students, Rodney Page, still holds the record for the highest score ever earned on the LSAT (Law School Admission Test).
Some of Dr. Blyton’s proudest accomplishments include co-authoring the 1954 Tau Kappa Alpha best-selling debate text Principles of Argumentation and Debate, being named president of the American Forensic Association, and organizing the first integrated debate in the nation between the University of Kentucky and Kentucky State University. This historic debate made headlines nationwide and came two years before the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown vs. Board of Education.
Well known for his ability to generate support and enthusiasm for forensics, Dr. Blyton retired from U.K. in 1975 to become the director of the Kentucky High School Speech League, Inc. As director, he was instrumental in rebuilding high school debate. Under his leadership, the League flourished. Dr. Blyton’s integrity, love for forensics, and keen business sense helped to make KHSSL, Inc. one of the strongest forensic organizations in the United States.
Dr. Blyton’s love for KHSSL, Inc. has not diminished since his retirement. The Blyton Scholarship Fund which he initiated enables outstanding seniors at KHSSL, Inc. schools to attend college. Dr. Blyton’s many years of service to forensics in Kentucky, as well as the nation, are immeasurable. For over five decades, Dr. Gifford Blyton was a beacon of leadership for thousands of forensic students and teachers.
The Blyton Scholarshihp initiated by former KHSSL, Inc. Director Gifford Blyton, are cash award(s) presented to two or more KHSSL, Inc. seniors on the basis of financial need and potential for success at a college or university of their choice. The amount of the scholarships will be set by the Board of Directors.
The recipients must have participated in KHSSL, Inc. activities for at least two years and must be seniors in high school. The scholarships will be awarded to at least two students — one male and one female — without regard to race, religion, sexual orientation, political affiliation, or physical handicaps. The awards must be used solely for helping students begin their advanced educational careers.
To be considered for a scholarship, a student must complete an application form (which may be copied from the following page) and submit it, along with two sealed letters of recommendation, to the League office. This submission should be made on paper.
The postmark deadline is February 16, 2018. In addition, each applicant should email Daniel Hamm, the KHSSL Board of Directors Chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org on or before that date to indicate submission. The email does not need to include a copy of the application–it should just state that an application is on the way.
The paper submission AND the email are required for applications to be considered.
The recipients of these scholarships will be chosen by an impartial panel selected by the Director, and the scholarships will be presented at the State Senior Championship Tournament.