Gabe Denecker

2020 oratorical contest

Gabe Denecker won the 2020 C. Henry Smith Peace Oratorical Contest. His speech explored Catholic Just War Theory, beginning with Augustine and ending with the Just War Theory as applied to the American war in Afghanistan.


C. Henry Smith Contest

The C. Henry Smith Peace Oratorical Contest is hosted each spring by the communications department and the peace & conflict studies program.

2021 C. Henry Smith Peace Oratorical Contest 
7 p.m. Thursday, April 22
Yoder Recital Hall

Arts and Lecture credit. 

The following students will speak out on peace and violence:

  • Gabriel Denecker, "Privilege, Pride, and Power: Global Inequality and the Things that Keep Us from Peace."
  • Jennifer Dorsey, "We Need Not Make Another Other: How the Church's Practice of Exclusion Violates Jesus' Call to Peace."
  • Claire Myree, "Making Peace with Our World through Reduction."
  • Olivia Tennefoss, "Turning Profit Into Peace: The Shalom of Small Business."

Cash prizes are awarded to the top 3 participants:

1st Prize: $175
2nd Prize: $125
3rd Prize: $100

The first prize winner will go on to compete with winning students from other North American Mennonite colleges. Winners of the bi-national contest receive:

1st Prize: $250
2nd Prize: $150
3rd Prize: $75

The competition is administered by the Mennonite Central Committee and was established in honor of C. Henry Smith, who was on the Bluffton faculty from 1914-46. Smith is well-known for his particular attention to the peace commitments of the Mennonite tradition.

For more information, contact Gerald Mast, professor of communication, at or 419-358-3208.