At the 2015 GWIET, fun was had by all!
In 1951, Professor Grace Walsh chartered the Wisconsin Zeta chapter of Pi Kappa Delta and established the Eau Claire Competitive Debate Team. For 36 years she taught speech and coached forensics at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. She established a strong forensics program that today strives to compete at the bar set by Ms. Grace Walsh.
Grace was an amazing individual, and deeply committed to competitive speech. She understood the value and skills to be gained from the activity, and was a key figure in the development of Forensics as we know it today.
It is in her honor that we at UW-Eau Claire host the annual Grace Walsh Individual Events Tournament. The GWIET, one half of a swing tournament known as the 'Love Fest' (co-hosted with Ripon College's Red Hawk Invitational), is a celebration of Grace's dedication to the activity and the passion with which she led the forensics community.
The GWIET portion of the Lovefest tournaments offers competitors the opportunity to nominate and vote for Love King and Love Queen. Throughout the morning, competitors can write-in nominations to nominate other competitors for King and Queen. Once the top four nominees are selected, competitors and coaches and donate their spare change to vote for their King and Queen! Every cent counts for a vote, and the nominees with the most money in their jars win! The best part is, all money raised is donated to a charity of the UW-Eau Claire Forensics Team's choosing. In 2011, UW-Eau Claire, with the help of the forensics community, raised more money than ever before. Over $600 was raised for the Bolton Refuge House here in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.