The Brigance Forum is an annual public lecture or debate in memory of the late William Norwood Brigance, teacher, scholar and leader in the Speech Association of America. In his 38 years at Wabash College, "Briggie" taught generations of Wabash students how to be more effective when they spoke and, through his textbooks, he taught thousands more in American high schools and colleges.
As editor of the pioneer History and Criticism of American Public Address and as editor of the Quarterly Journal of Speech, he gave direction to the scholarship of the field, and as President of the Speech Association of America, he guided the profession through the expansion of the postwar years.
The Brigance family, friends, former students whom he taught, and those who continued the tradition of Speech at Wabash after him, have, through their contributions, endowed this program as an ongoing memorial to William Norwood Brigance.
The William N. Brigance Speakers Bureau Award
The William N. Brigance Speakers Bureau Award was established by May and James Ching, Class of 1951, in honor of William Norwood Brigance. Brigance was a prominent scholar in the field of Speech and Rhetorical Studies, long time chairman of the Rhetoric Department, and founder of the Speaker's Bureau. This award goes to the Wabash student who has done the most for the Speaker's Bureau during his college career.
Brigance and the Crawfordsville District Public Library
At a ceremony at the Crawfordsville District Public Library on October 23, 2010 family, friends, and colleagues of the late William Norwood Brigance gathered to celebrate his legacy as an author, professor, and scholar of speech and rhetorical studies. The occasion coincided with Brigance's name being inscribed on the north outside wall of the Library. The names celebrate Montgomery County's most accomplished writers. See photos of the event here.