Bette Helps With Education…

National High School Speech Competitors Vie for Championship Titles and $88,000 in College Scholarships and Prizes
Business Editors/Education Writers

ATLANTA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–June 16, 2003–More than 2,650 U.S. high school speech students, accompanied by their coaches, teachers, parents and other supporters, will gather in Atlanta, Georgia, this week to compete in a week-long tournament for the title of National Champion in the Lincoln Financial Group(R) National Forensic League National Speech Tournament. The tournament features several categories such as policy debate, humor, drama, and original oratory. The event’s sponsor, Lincoln Financial Group, will award $88,000 in college scholarships and prizes.

Throughout the 2002-2003 academic year, more than 91,000 students from more than 2,600 U.S. high schools competed to earn the privilege of participating in the national tournament. Competition will take place throughout the week leading up to the final rounds beginning Thursday, June 19 at 5:30 p.m. and continuing Friday, June 20, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Martin Luther King Memorial Site Horizon Sanctuary (new church), Heritage Sanctuary (old church) and King Center Auditorium in Atlanta, Georgia.

“To me, there isn’t a problem in society that doesn’t have, at its core, the inability of one person to communicate with another, or one group of people to communicate with another,” said Jon Boscia, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Lincoln Financial Group. “That’s why I want to encourage students to participate in the training the National Forensic League provides,” Boscia added. Lincoln Financial Group has been a sponsor of the National Forensic League since 1994.

A new addition to the competition is the Ted Turner Debate. This event is based on the CNN TV show Crossfire. The Ted Turner debate topic is Resolved: That the United States should assume primary responsibility for the rebuilding of Iraq. Turner will judge the finals round on Friday. Mr. Turner is a former high school NFL debate champion, as well as NFL Communicator of the Year in 1988. His many other honors include being named Time Magazine’s Man of the Year in 1991 and Cable and Broadcasting’s Man of the Century in 1999. Turner, vice-chairman of AOLTime Warner and the founder of CNN, built his cable broadcasting system into a conglomerate that merged with Time Warner in 1996.

Following the final rounds, scholarship winners will be announced in an awards assembly beginning at 5:30 p.m. Friday, June 20, 2003 in the Ebenezer Baptist Church Horizon Sanctuary on the Martin Luther King Memorial site.

During the Lincoln Financial Group Lincoln- Douglas Debate rounds Friday
morning, participants may feel under particular scrutiny as they are judged by the man for whom the debate style is named: Abraham Lincoln. Portrayed by Richard F. “Fritz” Klein, one of the foremost Lincoln actors of today, “Mr. Lincoln” will serve as chief judge for the competition. Lincoln Financial Group Lincoln-Douglas Debates take their name from the senatorial campaign debates of 1858, when respected orator and Illinois Democrat Stephen Douglas went head to head with Republican challenger Abraham Lincoln during a series of seven debates on the subject on slavery and states’ sovereignty. Klein, as Lincoln, will also speak on the fundamental values of equality and liberty among all people, as outlined by the Declaration of Independence.

Along with awards for the 11 competing categories, scholarships will be presented to the winners of the Lincoln Financial Group(R) Scholarship Video Speech Contest. First-place winner Julia Cain from Milton, MA and second-place winner Deena Shakir from San Jose, CA will be awarded prizes for their expository speech on the subject of “Taming the Bull and Bear … the importance of a sound financial strategy.” In addition, Cain and Shakir’s coaches will receive $500 honoraria.

The Lincoln Financial Group(R) National Forensic League National Speech Tournament is organized and run by the National Forensic League, a non-partisan, not-for-profit educational honorary society based in Ripon, WI. National Forensic League alumni include Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, Vice President Hubert Humphrey, Supreme Court Justice Steven Breyer, former Attorney General Janet Reno, Senators Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) and William Frist (R-Tenn.), news anchor Jane Pauley, media mogul Ted Turner, C-Span president Brian Lamb, and television and screen stars Oprah Winfrey, Kelsey Grammer, James Dean, Bette Midler and Shelley Long.

Lincoln Financial Group is the national sponsor of the National Forensic League’s national speech tournament and the Lincoln Financial Group(R) Refreshers at many of the NFL district tournaments across the country. In addition to its support of the NFL, Lincoln Financial Group sponsors other educational endeavors. From plan design to one-on-one employee education to top-rated web-based tools, Lincoln’s extensive range of retirement solutions helps employers provide their employees with a potential hedge against inflation.

Lincoln Financial Group is the marketing name for Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE:LNC) and its affiliates. With headquarters in Philadelphia, Lincoln Financial Group has consolidated assets of $92 billion and had annual consolidated revenues of $4.6 billion in 2002. Through its wealth accumulation and protection businesses, the company provides annuities, life insurance, 401(k) and other employer sponsored retirement plans, 529 college savings plans, mutual funds, managed accounts, institutional investment and financial planning and advisory services.

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