Early History

Established in 1910

From the Juniata College Bulletin, V.7 n.3, July 1910, p.28:

As a memorial to the late The Hon. John M. Bailey of Huntingdon, PA,. Mrs. John M. Bailey and her son Thomas F.[Fisher] Bailey have established two prizes of Twenty-five and Fifteen Dollars to be awarded annually to the two speakers who take first and second places respectively in a public oratorical contest. This contest is open to students of College standing. The award is to be on the basis of subject-matter, composition, and delivery.

NOTE: the Bailey is not the oldest oratorical contest at Juniata; at least one, the E.C. Carney Prizes, predates the Bailey.

Judging in the early years was done by two committees: one on thought and composition, the other on delivery. 

From the Echo, June 1910:

  • First competition was held in the college chapel on Thursday evening,  May 19, 1910.
  • Program included a performance by the college’s “Male Quartet.”
  • Donors of the prizes (first prize: $25, second prize $15) were Letitia Fisher Bailey (widow of President Judge John M. Bailey) and their son Attorney Thomas F. Bailey. (Thomas became a President Judge in 1916.)

 Since 1910, the contest has been held every year except in 1915 and through the early 1960s.

Prompts and Winners

2020: Be Counted: Census 2020... In what ways does being counted (or not) shape our priorities and communities?

1st - Rachel DesFosses
2nd - Madison Troha
3rd - Lara Sharpless

2019: This I believe...How can your core beliefs shape our future?

1st - Taylor Hallabuk
2nd - Vinnie Caroselli
3rd - Shamya Butler-Bonner

2018: What is your dream for the future and why?

1st - Alex Jones
2nd - Catherine Lanigan
3rd - Sarah Ullom-Minnich

2017: At the heart of the liberal arts in civic engagement: how can we use the values of our liberal arts education to heal the divides in our nation and world?

1st - Anh Ha
2nd - Nitya Chagti
3rd - Xavier Cachon

2016: Central to social change is the courage to act. What can we do to transform the way we live, learn, and work to make our communities more just?

1st - Julia McMurry
2nd - Lilliane P. Umuhoza
3rd - Connor Hunter-Kysor

 2015: How can we enhance Juniata's distinctiveness today and ensure our success in the future?

1st - Julia McMurry
2nd - Maverick Force
3rd - Colton Hallabuk

2014: What will it take for freedom, justice, and equality to ring for all?"

1st - Reinaldo Liem
2nd - Elise Mihranian
3rd - Angela Myers

2013: What advice would you give the new president of Juniata College about his direction for our future?"

1st - Reinaldo Liem
2nd - Seth Ruggiero
3rd - Robert Strauss

2012: What does it mean to live in 'interesting times' and what are the qualities of youth that our interesting times demand?"

1st - Elise Mihranian
2nd - Bryan Aungst
3rd - Libby Morrison

2011: Since 1927, TIME magazine has chosen a man, woman, group of people or an idea that 'for better or worse has most influenced events in the preceding year.' Who would be your choice of person of the year in 2010 and why?"

1st - Jewel Daniels
2nd - Bryan Aungst
3rd - Ellen Santa Maria

 2010: In the 21st century, what is the 'pursuit of happiness' and what are the implications of that pursuit?"

1st - Vanessa Guerra
2nd - Sarah Ruggiero
3rd - Grace Canfield

2009: What advice would you give Barack Obama about the challenges facing us?

1st - Justin Doutrich
2nd - Callandra McCool
3rd - Jennifer Barry 

2008: Reflect on the social changes new technologies are bringing to our private and/or professional lives."

1st - Dustin Gee
2nd - Ashley Hileman
3rd - Adam Stanley 

2007: What local and/or global solutions to sustainability challenges would you recommend and why?

1st - Lisa M. Detweiler
2nd - Elena C. Amato

3rd - John-Peter Melle

2006: Who would be your choice for person of the year in 2005 and why?

1st - Magda Sarnowska
2nd - Josh Scacco
3rd - Lisa Detweiler 

2005: Should traditions limit or liberate us? What role should traditions play in our community society and world? What powers should traditions hold if any?

1st - Zineb Gormat
2nd - James Nelson
3rd - Alcione Frederick

2004: Does a liberal education mean liberal politics?

1st - Gretchen Stull
2nd - Erin Brunner
3rd - Erin Bainey

2003: What does it mean to be a citizen of the world?

1st - Michelle Calka
2nd - Andrea Mundis
3rd - Stephanie Durnford 

2002: Challenge us to reexamine the assumptions of our actions, their consequences and our places in the world following the crisis precipitated by the events of September 11th.

1st - Leigh Ann Suhrie
2nd - Stephanie Durnford
3rd (tied) - Rebecca Goodall and Lauren Gutshall 

2001: Which woman of the 20th century made the most significant contribution to our era?

1st - Joshua Hicks
2nd (tied) - James Krug and Brian Olsen
3rd - Parisha Shah 

2000: How does the presence of violence shape our lives?

1st (tied) - Jeffrey Bellomo and Brian Olsen
2nd - Matthew Peters
3rd - Colleen McLaughlin 

1999: What is your uncommon vision for Juniata?

1st (tied) - Malingose Kambandu and Sarah Worley
2nd - Brandy Fix
3rd - Eric Hammar

1998: Dare to define community in the 21st century.

1st - Heather Kidder
2nd - David Shoenthal
3rd - Parisha Shah 

1997: How is technology changing the nature of our relationships?

1st - Julie Rosensteel
2nd - David Shoenthal
3rd - Tabitha Campbell 

1996: Does a sense of community matter for building a sustainable future?

1st - Jo Ann Kester
2nd - Jessie Oldham
3rd (tied) - Brandee Shope and Purvi Shah

1995: Celebrate your sense of commitment to the future. What do we have to offer the next generation?

1st -  Steven McElroy
2nd - Simon Corby
3rd - Matthew DiLauri

1994: What is the value of higher education in the nineties?

1st - Jane Croyle
2nd - Heather Bayer
3rd - Cara Loughlin

1993: Should we aim to strike a balance between multiculturalism and individualism?
Will such a balance hurt or help us as we enter the 21st century?

1st - Debra Windhorst
2nd - Suzy Atkins
3rd - Lisa DeChano