Senior Wins Peace Contest

Nick Stoddard, EMU student
Nicholas L. (Nick) Stoddard, a senior biblical studies major

An EMU student has received first prize in the bi-national C. Henry Smith Peace Oratorical Contest.

Nicholas L. (Nick) Stoddard, a senior biblical studies major from Wellman, Iowa, won a cash gift and a scholarship to attend a peace-related conference for his speech, “Connect the Dots.”

His oration focused on developing a mindset that sees how one’s actions have a direct effect on other people, even those at great geographic distance.

The winning speech can be viewed at

Stoddard is co-leader of EMU Peace Fellowship with Katrina Alger and Michelle Kennel. He is married to Erika Detweiler Stoddard, a 2007 EMU graduate, and is a member of Kalona (Iowa) Mennonite Church.

“This contest is a great opportunity for EMU students to speak in their own words to how they apply the Christian peace witness to specific issues they care about,” said Nancy R. Heisey, chair of EMU’s Bible and religion department. “It’s exciting to see Nicholas’ challenge to us at EMU to choose just lifestyle options being recognized as central to the peace witness of Mennonites throughout the U.S. and Canada.”

The contest was established in 1974 by the directors of the C. Henry Smith Trust as a way of honoring the late Mennonite historian who taught at Goshen (Ind.) College and Bluffton (Ohio) University.

It is administered annually by Peace and Justice Ministries of Mennonite Central Committee U.S. Students from every Mennonite and Brethren in Christ college in North America are eligible to participate.