The Speakers Guild is an organization that allows Cedarville University to share its talents and resources with churches, Christian schools and homeschool groups.
The guild contains over 30 Cedarville faculty members who speak on a wide variety of topics including industrial design, climate change and worship ministry.
Cedarville’s provost, Dr. John Gredy, said Dr. Thomas White approached him last year and asked him to lead the school’s growth initiative.
“One of the things that’s very important for Cedarville going forward is that we continue to grow,” Gredy said, “because if you’re not growing, you’re going backward.”
Gredy proceeded to put together blitz teams that traveled the Midwest to spread the word about Cedarville. He also started developing an organization that he called the Speakers Guild.
Janice Supplee, vice president of enrollment management, and Bruce Traeger, director of church relations, worked with Gredy to gather faculty from different fields around the university. Roscoe Smith, associate vice president for admissions, trained the faculty members on how to prepare for a speaking engagement.
“The whole concept of the Speakers Guild is getting our people, with their various talents, out to provide a service,” Gredy said.
The members of the guild provide their services in a number of areas, including classrooms, chapels, church services and even convocations.
The guild launched this January, and Gredy said he has been satisfied with how people have responded to it so far.
“I think it’s been well-received,” he said. “The Christian schools and churches are very much appreciative, and our faculty and staff have responded with enthusiasm, so it’s going quite well.”
Jeff Reep, director of career services at Cedarville and a guild member, said the organization allows the university to get its name out.
“A lot of it is just exposure for the school and partnering with other people with the same core values, the same mission we’re on,” he said.
Gredy said he thinks the future of the speakers guild looks bright.
“I think it’s going to be an ongoing service we’re going to be offering, because I’ve already noticed many of the places are wanting to book us for next year.”
The guild provides its services free of charge, in part to encourage collaboration, but also, according to Gredy, because it’s “the right thing to do.”
“During this time when we continue to struggle with the economy, and it’s hard for parents and students to afford Cedarville, we just wanted to go the extra mile to be out there, sharing with people about what Cedarville has,” Gredy said. “We can be a witness, we can be an encouragement to those around us.”
Jonathan Gallardo is a sophomore Journalism major and reporter for Cedars. He enjoys basketball, creative writing and listening to rap, and he hopes one day to either play in the NBA or become a sports journalist for ESPN.
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