(Posted February 9, 2004)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata College students will address whether the broad-ranging education received at a liberal arts college results in a liberal political stance at the annual John M. and Thomas F. Bailey Oratorical Contest, to be held at 8:15 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 19 in the ballroom of Ellis College Center.

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

The contest offers students a chance to write and deliver a persuasive speech addressing the topic: "Does a Liberal Arts Education Mean Liberal Politics?"

A preliminary competition was held Feb. 7 to narrow the field of 21 student participants. Seven student orators will take part in the final competition.

The seven finalists are junior Erin Baney, of Warriors Mark, Pa.; seniors Erin Brunner, of Erie, Pa.; Michelle Calka, of Johnstown, Pa.; John Damin, of Ebensburg, Pa.; Christine Robbins, of Ballston Lake, N.Y.; Gretchen Stull, of Waynesboro, Pa.; and Paul Vranesic, of Lebanon, Pa.

The judges for the preliminary competition were Dawn Hayes, a 1995 graduate and a Title I specialist in reading mathematics and science in the Mifflin County School District; Matthew Peters, a 2001 Juniata graduate and a teaching assistant in information technology at Penn State University; and David Shoenthal, a winner of the Bailey contest in 1998. He is a graduate assistant at Penn State University in mathematics.

Judges for the final competition are:

Sarah Worley is a 2000 Juniata graduate and winner of the Bailey Oratorical in 1999. She has been member services and advertising representative for South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce in Denver, Colo. since June 2003.
Dr. Bradley Miller is a 1994 graduate of Juniata who is a Reedsville resident and a doctor at Family Health Associates in Belleville, Pa. He received the 2003 Health Professions Alumni Appreciation Award from Juniata College last summer.. He is an active member of the medical staff of Lewistown Hospital, and is board-certified in family practice by the American Board of Family Practice.

Jeffrey Bellomo is a 2000 Juniata graduate and winner of the Bailey Oratorical in 2000. He attended the Widener University School of Law and passed the Pennsylvania bar exam in 2003. He is a law clerk for Judge for David L. Ashworth, in Lancaster Court of Common Pleas and will start a new job in May as an associate in the law firm of Anstine and Sparler in York, Pa.

The prize money for the Bailey Oratorical Contest is $1,800. The first-place winner receives $1,000, second place receives $500, and third place receives $300.

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 April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.