News Release: JMU Speech Team to compete at the University of Pennsylvania

The James Madison University Speech Team will compete in a tournament at the University of Pennsylvania this Saturday, November 10. Ten JMU students will compete in 26 different events. The scores of these individual events are added together for a total final team score, according to Lee Mayfield, coach of the JMU Speech Team.

The team competes almost every weekend, but most students attend two competitions a month, according to junior communication studies major  Katie Lese. She says, “I enjoy these tournaments because it’s such an interesting community and platform and audience to speak to because it’s people that want to listen to you and you can talk about virtually any topic that’s not really held by bound of any classroom.”

Mayfield says that the JMU Speech Team has been ranked nationally nine times since 1992. “Just two years ago, in 2011, they were ranked the 19th team in the nation,” Mayfield adds. There are about 20 students on the team, representing a variety of majors, including SCOM, English, International Affairs and Psychology.

More information about the Speech Team can be found at

The School of Communication Studies is part of the College of Arts and Letters at James Madison University. Their mission is the teaching of communication theory and criticism, the development of communication and advocacy skills, the research of communication processes and practices, and the application of generated knowledge about human communication toward the betterment of self and community. Visit for more information.