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S. Michael Halloran - Text of Award

It is my very great pleasure to present S. Michael Halloran with the 2002 George E. Yoos Award for Distinguished Service to the Rhetoric Society of America, on behalf of the Award Committee, Jeanne Fahnestock, Molly Meijer Wertheimer, and myself. Michael Halloran's contributions to the field of rhetorical studies and to the R SA are known to all. His scholarship has addressed topics in the rhetoric of science, technical writing, eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British and American rhetorical theory, and education in rhetoric, most notably in the important book co-authored and edited with Gregory Clark, Oratorical Culture in Nineteenth-Century America [published in 1993]. His most recent work has dealt with the rhetoric of spectacle.

Michael has worked at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute since 1967, beginning as a graduate assistant there, and retiring this year as a full Professor and past Director of Graduate Studies, Chair of the Department of Language, Literature, and Communication, and Associate Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences. As of the year 2000, he has directed no less than 27 dissertations in rhetorical topics at RPI, including those of his Yoos Award nominators, Greg Clark and Carolyn Miller, and many in this room can attest to the enduring influence of his thought and guidance.

The Rhetoric Society of America has benefited tremendously from Michael's dedication. He has served on the Board of Directors for almost 20 years. From 1990 to 1995 he filled the positions of President-Elect, President, and Immediate Past President-extremely time-consuming and demanding positions, as I am coming to know. Since 1995 he has served as Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Society, which means that I will be presenting him later with the bill for the attractive plaque I am about to give him. Few can claim to have done as much for the RSA , to bring it into the 21st century established as a force in rhetorical studies and poised for new growth and increasing scholarly significance.

Hence, in gathering today to witness the spectacle of Michael Halloran's well deserved recognition, I invite you to become a part of it. You see not only what you came to see, but also those others who share your interests, and they in turn see you. Together we experience something, and in that shared experience is the germ of a public. We don't just sit here as an assemblage of isolated individuals, uncommunicatively receiving what I the rhetor deliver. We react to what happens "on stage," we see each other reacting, and we react with and to each other, giving public expression to the meaning we impute as the event transpires. We all become rhetors through our visible and audible reactions, transforming the event as it transpires into an enactment of our social order. As I present Michael Halloran with this very attractive plaque announcing his receipt of the 2002 George E. Yoos Distinguished Service Award, please join me in clarifying the meaning that you impute to this spectacle.

Patricia Bizzell
Chair, George Yoos Distinguished Service Award Committee