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Seven Juniata Students to Compete in Bailey Oratorical Contest

(Posted February 25, 2002)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata College students will address the consequences and implications of the actions taken in the aftermath of Sept. 11 at the annual John M. and Thomas F. Bailey Oratorical Contest, to be held at 8:15 p.m. Feb 26 in the ballroom of Ellis College Center.

Admission is free and the event is open to the public.

The contest offers students the chance to create a compelling speech addressing the topic: "Challenge us to re-examine the assumptions of the consequences of our actions, of our citizenship and of our place in the world."

A preliminary competition was held Feb 16 to narrow the field of 50 student participants. Seven student orators will take part in the final competition.

The judges for the preliminary competitions, all Juniata College alumni, were: Jane Croyle, class of 1995, of Petersburg; David Shoenthal, class of 1998, of State College; and Sarah Worley, class of 2000, of State College.

Judges for the final competition are:
Christopher Scalia, a 1998 Juniata College graduate and corporate litigator with the Harrisburg law firm of Morgan, Lewis and Bockius LLP. He is a 2001 graduate of Penn State's Dickinson School of Law and won the 1997 Bailey Oratorical.

Shelley Whitcomb, legislative assistant for U.S. Rep. Todd Platts of Pennsylvania's 19th District. She is a 1996 graduate of Juniata College and majored in English and communication. She lives in Carlisle, Pa.

Robert Ascah, of State College. He is a Penn State University graduate and a member of the State College school board and the board of representatives of WPSX-TV and WPSU-FM.

The seven finalists are seniors Rebecca Goodall, of Calvin, Pa.; Jesse Rhodes, of Franklin, Ind.; Leigh Ann Suhrie, of East Stroudsburg, Pa.; juniors Stephanie Durnford, of Accokeek, Md.; Lauren Gutshall of Carlisle, Pa.; sophomore Michelle Calka, of Johnstown, Pa; and freshman Katherine O'Donnell, of Royersford, Pa.

The prize money for the Bailey Oratorical Contest is $1,000. The first-place winner receives $500, second place receives $300, and third place receives $200.

The original Bailey Oratorical Award was established in 1915 by the Honorable Thomas F. Bailey, who served as president judge of Huntingdon County from 1916 to 1936.

The oratorical contest has a long tradition at Juniata College, as students from all areas of study can compete for the monetary prize. An enhanced endowment contribution by Judge Bailey's son-in-law Colonel Sedgley Thornbury, has raised the prize money level to $1,000. In addition, the name of the winner will be permanently inscribed on an antique loving cup presented to the college by Colonel Thornbury's son, Thomas Bailey Thornbury.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.