Goshen College students to speak in annual peace oratorical contest Feb. 5

GOSHEN, Ind. – Five Goshen College student speakers will continue the college’s near-century-old tradition by participating in the 2008 C. Henry Smith Peace Oratorical Contest on Feb. 5 in Umble Center at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Participants in this year’s contest and their topics are:

Nicole Boyd, a senior art major from Goshen, will be speaking about “The loss of a childhood: A call to action on pursuing the end of child labor.” She is a graduate of Goshen High School and the daughter of Nick and Charity Boyd.

Jacob Kraybill, a first-year communication major from Lancaster, Pa., will be speaking about “Unpacking the issues: Gay marriage in America.” He is a 2006 graduate of Lancaster Mennonite School and is the son of Leon and Audrey Kraybill. He attends Community Mennonite Church.

Ciara Reyes, a first-year biology and English double major from Goshen, will be speaking about “The American Dream Revisited.” She is a 2007 graduate of The Morningstar Academy of Orlando, Fla., and is the daughter of Bernard and Becky Reyes.

Tim Showalter, a December 2007 graduate from Harrisonburg, Va., who studied Bible and religion, will speak about “Living in line with the grain of the universe: Rejecting a reactionary Christianity.” He is a graduate of Turner Ashby High School and attends Community Mennonite Church. He is the son of Harry and Nancy Showalter.

Piper Voge, a sophomore communication major from Southport, Ind., will be speaking about “Scars are not symbols of brokenness but of healing: How one person can change an abused child’s life.” She was homeschooled and graduated in 2005.

Each participant will step to the lectern and deliver an 8- to 10-minute speech on their chosen topic relating to peace, in a universal or specific context, including war and violence, political policies, agencies of justice and peace, peacemaking strategies or current events. The addresses will be judged by Goshen College President Jim Brenneman and Nancy Ryan and Melissa Kinsey, two members of the community who formerly worked at the college as instructors of communication and business. Speakers will be judged on originality, the integration of the topic and a peace position and general standards of delivery. While judges deliberate, refreshments will be served, and then the winner will be announced.

Participants compete for cash prizes and the top winner may enter the U.S./Canada Mennonite Central Committee-sponsored C. Henry Smith Peace Oratorical Contest. The trust of C. Henry Smith, a Mennonite historian and professor at Goshen and Bluffton (Ohio) colleges, funds the contest, which gives students an opportunity to become involved with the peace cause while cultivating rhetorical skills. Speech contests have been part of Goshen College’s history since the early 1900s; the C. Henry Smith contest allows the campus community to hear more about relevant, contemporary issues.

Umble Center is accessible to people using wheelchairs and others with physical limitations.

Editors: For more information about this release, to arrange an interview or request a photo, contact Goshen College News Bureau Director Jodi H. Beyeler at (574) 535-7572 or jodihb@goshen.edu.


Goshen College, established in 1894, is a residential Christian liberal arts college rooted in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition. The college’s Christ-centered core values – passionate learning, global citizenship, compassionate peacemaking and servant-leadership – prepare students as leaders for the church and world. Recognized for its unique Study-Service Term program, Goshen has earned citations of excellence in Barron’s Best Buys in Education, “Colleges of Distinction,” “Making a Difference College Guide” and U.S.News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” edition, which named Goshen a “least debt college.” Visit www.goshen.edu.