Great Forester Speak Off a success

Oratorical traditions of Huntington College’s past brought back to life.

HUNTINGTON, IN DECEMBER 10, 1996 --- The first annual Great Forester Speak Off was held on Monday, December 9, and showcased the persuasive skills of Huntington College’s finest student speakers. The event marks a revival of outstanding oratorical competition at Huntington College.

Dr. Christopher Leland, assistant professor of speech, organized the event. "In a recent survey of business leaders, the number one skill they wished college graduates had was stronger communication skills. Hopefully with the Forester Speak Off we are creating an opportunity for students to enhance those public communication skills, as well as reinvigorate the oratorical traditions of Huntington College’s past," offered Leland.

The top students from each of Leland’s speech classes were chosen to face off in the event. Topping the competition were:

  • Kayleen Bowker, a senior elementary education major from Roanoke, Indiana, who was awarded first place for her speech on child abuse.
  • Christy Jensen, a junior mathematics education major from Blissfield, Michigan, who was awarded second place for her speech on railroad crossing safety.
  • Ryan Crabbe, a junior recreational management major from Monticello, Indiana, who was awarded third place for his speech on lowering professional athletes’ salaries.

Additional finalists included:

  • Maria Kurtz, a sophomore English major form Leo, Indiana. Kurtz described the need for equality of content coverage in public education.
  • Craig Sloan, a junior physical education major from St. Thomas, Ontario. Sloan argued for stricter punishments for criminals.
  • Rachel Westgard, a freshman music education major from Bismarck, North Dakota. Westgard spoke about the value of life insurance.
  • Doug Hinthorn, a junior Bible and religion and psychology double major from Huntington, Indiana. Hinthorn advocated sexual purity.
  • Shannon Wilson, a junior elementary education major from Carson City, Michigan. Wilson championed saving the rain forests.

Speech communication is one of nearly 50 academic concentrations available from Huntington College. Founded in 1897 by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Huntington College offers high-quality academic programs "to equip men and women to impact the world for Christ." Located on a contemporary, wooded campus in Huntington, Indiana, the four-year liberal arts college offers both graduate and undergraduate degrees.

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Heather Barkley
Director of Communications
Joanne Green
Sports Information Director