Finalists at the 113th Bailey Oratorical Recognize Courage in the Face of Adversity
(Posted February 21, 2023)
HUNTINGDON, Pa. – The 113th Bailey Oratorical speech competition, a campus tradition that annually draws insightful and compelling discourse from Juniata students, will be held at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28, in Alumni Hall, A100, in Brumbaugh Academic Center, and can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7z0Gzdgeuk.
This year, the prompt inspired by the 1956 work, Profiles in Courage, by John F. Kennedy focuses on a “Profile in Courage: Who would you nominate to be recognized for their courage in the face of adversity to do what is right for a community, nation, or the world?”
Established in 1910, the Bailey Oratorical encourages students from all areas of study to present six to eight-minute persuasive speeches on a topic that changes annually.
Thirty-three students signed up for the preliminary round of the competition, which took place on February 18, with Kalif Chew, Janelle (Smith) Cohn ’11, and Allison Goulden ’19 serving as judges. The three judges had the responsibility of choosing the seven finalists of the competition. The finalists are Elizabeth Bailey ’23, Kayla Blackstock ’23, Lillian Case ’25, Hannah Kempken ’23, Nhu “May” Nguyen ’23, Kiran Patil ’24, and Molly Sheets ’26.
These student finalists are coached by faculty mentors to polish content and deliver their speeches in preparation for the final round of the competition.
Judges for the final competition include Suzy Atkins ’98, who works in the Executive Communications Bureau at the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and previously was employed in former Gov. Tom Wolf’s Executive Office; Jeffrey Bellomo ’00, the owner of Bellomo and Associates, a firm focused on estate planning and elder law, and a member of The Lawyers of Distinction; and Parisha Shah ’01, Senior Research Investigator and Instructor in the Departments of Medicine and Cell and Development Biology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia, Pa. All participated and placed in former Bailey competitions.
The competition features prizes of $1,000, $500, and $300 for the top three speeches. Audience members are encouraged to participate in a text-to-vote poll for the People’s Choice Award.
The original Bailey Oratorical Award was established in 1910 by Letitia Fisher Bailey and the Honorable Thomas F. Bailey, who served as president judge of Huntingdon County from 1916 to 1936. The contest is named in honor of John M. Bailey, the father of Thomas Bailey, and a former Huntingdon County president judge.
The oratorical contest has a long tradition at Juniata College, as students from all areas of study can compete for the monetary prize. The original prizes for the contest were $15 and $25. An enhanced endowment contribution by Judge Bailey's son-in-law Colonel Sedgley Thornbury provides the contest’s prize money. 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.
The public is welcome and encouraged to attend this free event.
Contact April Feagley at email@example.com or (814) 641-3131 for more information.