Oratorical Contest


C. Henry Smith Peace

Several students will present their speeches for the C. Henry Smith Peace Oratorical Contest

empowering Voices for peace

Bluffton University will hold its annual C. Henry Smith Peace Oratorical Contest at 7 p.m. on April 10 in Yoder Recital Hall. 

Students selected to participate will prepare an oration, no more than ten minutes in length, that applies a peace-church perspective to an issue of contemporary concern. 

Participating students and their speeches include:

  • Zachariah Boch ’24, Lancaster, Ohio, “Deconstructing the Bully: Giving Power to Take Away Power”
  • Micah Dodson ’27, Wooster, Ohio, “Making Peace in a World of Poverty”
  • Jenia Freewalt ’24, Delphos, Ohio, “Helping Students Make Peace With  Themselves”
  • Jenna Juarez ’25, Fremont, Ohio, “Promoting Peace in Skilled Nursing Facilities”
  • Kennedy Parker ’25, Lima, Ohio, “The Mental Health of College Athletes”
  • Carter Ritchey ’25, Delphos, Ohio, “The Peace of the Binary Body”

The student who is awarded first prize will receive $500. The second and third prize speakers will receive $400 and $200, respectively. Prizes have been substantially increased in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the contest. 

The first prize winner will advance to compete with winning students from other North American Mennonite colleges. The bi-national competition awards additional monetary prizes for the top three competitors. 

The contest is named in honor of C. Henry Smith, an early 20th-century Mennonite historian and a professor at Bluffton as well as at Goshen College. This event is free and open to the public.