Past Presidents

O'Neill2BeebeNCA has been led by the discipline’s finest teachers and scholars whose vision and dedication shaped the mission, as well as the spirit, of the organization.

Prior to 1956, presidents selected at the annual meeting of the association, with the membership ratifying the selection of candidates put forth by a nominating committee. A constitutional revision enacted in 1954 that became effective in 1956 provided for the election of officers of the association by ballot rather than at the annual meeting. A list of the elected second vice-presidents (who went on to become president by constitutional succession) and their opponents is available here.

In order to recover and preserve major interpretations of NCA’s historical experience and events, NCA offers this evolving collection of biographies of its past presidents. These biographies capture NCA history through the eyes of those who experienced it and understood events as they unfolded. We have not yet been able to collect all the biographies for the past presidents. There is an ongoing effort to gather and write biographies for each one. Additional biographies are forthcoming.

Presidents of the National Association of Academic Teachers of Public Speaking
1. 1915 James M. O’Neill,* University of Wisconsin
2. 1916 James A. Winans,* Cornell University
3. 1917 James L. Lardner,* Northwestern University
4. 1918 Howard S. Woodward,* Western Reserve University
4. 1919 Howard S. Woodward,* Western Reserve University
5. 1920 Charles H. Woolbert,* University of Illinois
6. 1921 Alexander M. Drummond,* Cornell University
7. 1922 Glenn N. Merry,* University of Iowa
Presidents of the National Association of Teachers of Speech
8. 1923 Harry B. Gough,* Depauw University
9. 1924 Wilber Jones Kay,* West Virginia University
10. 1925 Ray K. Immel,* University of Southern California
11. 1926 Edward C. Mabie,* University of Iowa
12. 1927 Andrew T. Weaver,* University of Wisconsin (Presidential Address
13. 1928 John P. Ryan,* Grinnell College
14. 1929 Frank M. Rarig,* University of Minnesota
15. 1930 John Dolman,* Jr., University of Pennsylvania
16. 1931 Clarence T. Simon,* Northwestern University
17. 1932 Henrietta Prentiss,* Hunter College
18. 1933 Lee Emerson Bassett,* Leland Stanford University
19. 1934 Henry L. Ewbank,* University of Wisconsin
20. 1935 Arleigh B. Williamson,* New York University
21. 1936 Maud May Babcock,* University of Utah
22. 1937 Herbert A. Wichelns,* Cornell University
23. 1938 J.T. Marshman,* Ohio Wesleyan University
24. 1939 A. Craig Baird,* University of Iowa
25. 1940 Alan H. Monroe,* Purdue University (Presidential Address
26. 1941 W. Hayes Yeager,* George Washington University
27. 1941 Honorary President Thomas C. Trueblood,* University of Michigan
28. 1942 Claude M. Wise,* Louisiana State University
29. 1943 Robert West,* University of Wisconsin (Presidential Address
30. 1944 Bower Aly,* University of Missouri
31. 1945 Joseph F. Smith,* University of Utah
32. 1946 W. Norwood Brigance,* Wabash College

Presidents of the Speech Association of America
33. 1947 Magdalene Kramer,* Columbia University (Presidential Address)
34. 1948 Rupert Cortright,* Wayne State University (Presidential Address)
35. 1949 James H. McBurney,* Northwestern University (Presidential Address)   
36. 1950 Horace G. Rahskopf,* University of Washington (Presidential Address)
37. 1951 Wilber Gilman,* Queens College (Presidential Address)
38. 1952 Lionel Crocker,* Denison University (Presidential Address)
39. 1953 Henry P. Constans,* University of Florida
40. 1954 Karl R. Wallace,* University of Illinois
41. 1955 Thomas A. Rousse,* University of Texas
42. 1956 Lester Thonssen,* College of the City of New York
43. 1957 Loren Reid, University of Missouri
44. 1958 Elise Hahn,* University of California
45. 1959 John E. Dietrich,* Ohio State University
46. 1960 Kenneth G. Hance,* Michigan State University
47. 1961 Ralph G. Nichols,* University of Minnesota
48. 1962 Waldo W. Braden,* Louisiana State University
49. 1963 Ernest J. Wrage,* Northwestern University
50. 1964 Robert T. Oliver*, Penn State University
51. 1965 J. Jeffery Auer,* Indiana University
52. 1966 John W. Black,* Ohio State University
53. 1967 Wayne C. Minnick,* Florida State University
54. 1968 Douglas Ehninger,* University of Iowa (Presidential Address
55. 1969 Marie Hochmuth Nichols,* University of Illinois (Presidential Address
Presidents of the Speech Communication Association
56. 1970 Donald C. Bryant,* University of Iowa (Presidential Address)
57. 1971 William S. Howell,* University of Minnesota  (Presidential Address)
58. 1972 Theodore Clevenger, Jr.,* Florida State University (Presidential Address
59. 1973 Robert C. Jeffrey,* University of Texas (Presidential Address)  
60. 1974 Samuel L. Becker,* University of Iowa (Presidential Address
61. 1975 Herman Cohen,* Penn State University (Presidential Address)   
62. 1976 Lloyd F. Bitzer, University of Wisconsin
63. 1977 Wallace A. Bacon,* Northwestern University (Presidential Address)
64. 1978 Jane Blankenship, University of Massachusetts (Presidential Address
65. 1979 Ronald R. Allen, University of Wisconsin (Presidential Address
66. 1980 Malcolm O. Sillars, University of Utah (Presidential Address)
67. 1981 Anita Taylor, George Mason University (Presidential Address)
68. 1982 Frank E.X. Dance, University of Denver (Presidential Address)
69. 1983 Kenneth E. Andersen, University of Illinois (Presidential Address
70. 1984 John Waite Bowers, University of Iowa (Presidential Address)
71. 1985 Beverly Whitaker Long, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (Presidential Address)
72. 1986 Wayne Brockriede,* California State University, Fullerton** (Presidential Address)
73. 1987 Patti P. Gillespie, University of Maryland (Presidential Address)
74. 1988 Michael M. Osborn, Memphis State University (Presidential Address)
75. 1989 Gustav W. Friedrich, University of Oklahoma (Presidential Address)
76. 1990 Mark L. Knapp, University of Texas (Presidential Address)
77. 1991 Dennis Gouran, Penn State University (Presidential Address)
78. 1992 Dale Leathers,* University of Georgia (Presidential Address)
79. 1993 David Zarefsky, Northwestern University (Presidential Address)
80. 1994 Bruce E. Gronbeck, University of Iowa (Presidential Address)
81. 1995 Sharon A. Ratliffe, Golden West College (Presidential Address)
82. 1996 James W. Chesebro, Indiana State University (Presidential Address, Part I & Part II
83. 1997 Judith S. Trent, University of Cincinnati (Presidential Address)
Presidents of the National Communication Association
84. 1998 John A. Daly, University of Texas, Austin (Presidential Address)
85. 1999 Orlando L. Taylor, Howard University (Presidential Address
86. 2000 Raymie E. McKerrow, Ohio University (Presidential Address)
87. 2001 James L. Applegate, University of Kentucky (Presidential Address)
88. 2002 V. William Balthrop, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (Presidential Address)
89. 2003 Judy C. Pearson, North Dakota State University (Presidential Address)
90. 2004 Isa N. Engleberg, Prince George’s Community College (Presidential Address)
91. 2005 Martha Watson, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
92. 2006 H. Dan O'Hair, University of Oklahoma (Presidential Address)
93. 2007 J. Michael Sproule, St. Louis University (Presidential Address)
94. 2008 Arthur P. Bochner, University of South Florida
95. 2009 Betsy Wackernagel Bach, University of Montana, Missoula (Presidential Address)
96. 2010 Dawn O. Braithwaite, University of Nebraska, Lincoln (Presidential Address)
97. 2011 Lynn Turner, Marquette University (Presidential Address)
98. 2012 Richard West, Emerson College (Presidential Address)
99. 2013 Steven Beebe, Texas State University (Presidential Address)



**But for his untimely death, Donald Ecroyd, Temple University, would have succeeded to the presidency in 1986.