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DePauw Debate News

Piggins and Terlep Take 5th Place at Collegiate Forensic Association National Tournament.

Press Release: Greencastle, IN (March 9, 2015):

DePauw Debaters Matt Piggins and Mickey Terlep compiled a 3-1 record at the Collegiate Forensic Association National Tournament held in Ocean City, Maryland this past weekend.  Piggins and Terlep defeated teams from Davis & Elkins, Bloomsburg, and Florida College en route to a 5th Place finish overall.  The tournament had to be significantly reconfigured by a major winter storm on the Eastern Seaboard that delayed the arrival of teams (including DePauw's team who had their flight cancelled due to inclement weather).  Tournament officials had to cancel elimination rounds so the final standings were based on preliminary round performance with ties broken on speaker points.  There was a five way tie for 2nd Place.  Piggins and Terlep represented one of five teams to finish 3-1 with only one undefeated team at the tournament from Randolph-Macon College.

Debaters win 3rd Place and Speaker Awards at the Harold E. Achor Debate Tournament!

Press Release: Greencastle, IN (February 15, 2015):

The DePauw Debate Team enjoyed a strong performance at the Harold E. Achor Debate Tournament this past weekend, co-hosted by Anderson University and Ball State University.  Justine Clarke and Kelechi Ikwuakor set the pace, bringing home the 3rd Place Team Award.  Clarke and Ikwuakor defeated teams from the University of Dayton, and Ball State University en route to their solid finish.  In addition, DePauw debaters Matt Piggns and Mickey Terlep distinguished themselves by tying for the 5th Place Speaker Award.  This is DePauw's final warm-up before competing in the Indiana State Debate Tournament hosted by Butler University this coming weekend.

Erin Mann Awarded 3rd Place Speaker at Ball State Tournament!

Press Release: Greencastle, IN (November 16, 2014):

DePauw debater Erin Mann set the pace at her inaugural collegiate debate tournament, the Cardinal Classic hosted by Ball State University.  Mann paired with Sarah Lazzro of California State University-Fullerton to form "Team Tan" in this innovative parliamentary debate format.  Students were paired with debaters from other universities for the competition.

Mann's "Team Tan" took 5th Place at the tournament, and she further distinguished herself by capturing the 3rd Place Speaker Award.  This was Mann's first collegiate debate tournament which made the showing all the more impressive. 


Guzzetta and Leist Win the Forensic 500 Tournament!

Press Release: Greencastle, IN (February 16, 2014):

DePauw debaters Vince Guzzetta and Sam Leist won the Forensic 500 Tournament hosted by the University of Indianapolis.  The final round of the tournament was surrounded by controversy.  Because of a tab room error, Guzetta and Leist were announced as semi-finalists at the tournament, allegedly losing their semi-final round to Purdue on a 2-1 decision.  A close check of the ballots after the tournament revealed that they actually won that round and should have been in the final round.  DePauw's Director of Forensics, Geoff Klinger '88, filed a formal protest with the tournament director, and after cross-checking her tab results, she reversed the semi-final round decision, and this set up a new potential final round against another team from Purdue.

Since the tournament was already over, Coach Klinger worked with Purdue's Director of Forensics, John Schultz, to reschedule the final round.  That round took place at the Indiana State Tournament in the Spring, and DePauw won handily on a 3-0 decision.  The complex situation took a while to resolve, but DePauw emerged on top making them the tournament champions.  In addition to the top team award, Vince Guzzetta was also named the 4th place speaker of the tournament, and DePauw captured the 3rd Place Sweepstakes Award based on the outstanding performance of all of their teams.

Kennedy and Usman Reach Finals at Ball State

Press Release: Greencastle, IN (November 10, 2013):

DePauw debaters Ronnie Kennedy and Mumal Usman brought their "A" Game to the Cardinal Winter Clash Debate Tournament hosted by Ball State.  After compiling an impressive record in preliminary rounds, Kennedy and Usman advanced to the final round, dropping a close debate to the eventual tournament champions from Ball State.  Kennedy and Usman, both seniors at DePauw, easily enjoyed their strongest performance of the season at the tournament.  Ronnie Kennedy further distinguished himself by taking home the 5th Place Speaker Award.


DePauw Debaters End 2012-13 Season on A High Note

Press Release: Greencastle, IN (March 30, 2013):

The DePauw Debate Team enjoyed a strong finish to the 2012-13 regular season.  Competing at the “Any Last Words” Tournament hosted by IUPUI, the team of Ronnie Kennedy and Jimmy Kirkpatrick took second place overall in the open division, while Shelby Beasley and Vince Guzzetta captured second place in the junior division. 

In addition, Jimmy Kirkpatrick was named the 2nd Place Speaker of the tournament, while his partner, Ronnie Kennedy, was named the 3rd place speaker.

Based on their strong performance overall, DePauw received the 2nd Place Sweepstakes Award at the tournament.


DePauw Debaters Shine at Indiana State Tournament

Press Release: Greencastle, IN (February 19, 2013):

Robert McMurray and Matt Piggins captured the Semi-Finalist Award at the Indiana Forensic Association's State Debate Tournament held this past weekend in Indianapolis.  They dropped a close 2-1 decision to the eventual tournament champions from Purdue in the Semi-Final round.

McMurray, President of the DePauw Debate Society, also further distinguished himself by taking home the 2nd Place Speaker Award of the tournament.  His partner, Matt Piggins, was named the 8th Place Speaker, and Ronnie Kennedy was the 9th Place Speaker.  In addition, Connor Hollensteiner, making his first tournament appearance for DePauw, was named the 9th Place Speaker in the Junior Division.

Based on the outstanding performance of all of DePauw's teams, DePauw received the 4th Place Sweepstakes Award, as well.  DePauw has one more regular season tournament before traveling to St. Louis to defend their National Championship title at the PKD National Tournament in March.

DePauw’s “Great Debaters” Capture Top Debate Award at Butler University!

Press Release: Greencastle, IN (Janurary 20, 2013):

Students from Professor Geoff Klinger’s “The Great Debaters” Winter Term course brought home the 1st Place Debate Team Sweepstakes Award this past weekend from the Bulldog Invitational Tournament, hosted by Butler University.  Students spent the first two weeks of Winter Term preparing for the tournament, and their hard work paid off with a strong showing at this highly competitive tournament.

Professor Klinger commented, “I was so proud of this group.  Almost all of the students in the course had no formal background in academic debate, but they worked diligently to prepare for the tournament and hone their debate skills.  While I noticed steady improvement in the class, it all seemed to come together for them at the Butler tournament.”

In addition to their collective success, several debaters further distinguished themselves individually.  DePauw captured four of the top ten speaker awards.  Matt Piggins was named the 4th place speaker of the tournament, Tyler Busian placed 5th, Andrew Bartucci received 6th, and Erin O’Brien took 8th.  The team of Hai Do and John Standley received a quarterfinalist award after advancing to elimination rounds, and the team of Andrew Bartucci and Matt Piggins was named the 3rd Place team of the tournament after dropping a close semifinal round against the eventual tournament champions from the University of Kentucky.

Debaters Enjoy Best Overall Showing of the Season at Purdue

Press Release: Greencastle, IN (October 28, 2012):

The DePauw Debate team won several awards this past weekend at the Boilermaker Special hosted by Purdue University.   Bri’anna Moore and Matt Piggins were the 7th Seed at the tournament, while Trish Preuss and her partner from Purdue, Allen Chiu, were the 4th Seed.  Both teams received Quarterfinalist awards.  Matt Piggins was named the 3rd Place Speaker in the Junior Varsity Division.  In the Open Division, Sam Leist and Robert McMurray received a Quarterfinalst award, and Ronnie Kennedy and Jimmy Kirkpatrick advanced to the Semi-Final Round, dropping a close 2-1 decision to Cedarville.  Kirkpatrick was named the 8th place speaker, and Meredith Lockman was honored with the 3rd Place Speaker Award in the Open Division.  Because of their outstanding individual performances, DePauw also captured the 2nd place overall Sweepstakes Award at the tournament.


Kennedy Captures Top Speaker Award at University of Cincinnati

Press Release: Greencastle, IN (October 8, 2012):

Ronnie Kennedy was named the Top Speaker of the Tournament at the Riverboat Gambler tournament co-hosted by the University of Cincinnati and Miami University.  Kennedy received 110 speaker points based on four preliminary rounds of competition, distancing himself from other top speakers from Miami, Grove City, IUPUI, and Marietta.  While Kennedy has won speaker awards in the past, this marks his first Top Speaker Award.

Lockman Named Top Speaker at University of Indianapolis

Press Release: Greencastle, IN (September 10, 2012):

In her first intercollegiate competition, Meredith Lockman was named the Top Speaker in the Novice Division at the recent Forensic 500 Tournament this past weekend at University of Indianapolis.  In addition, Lockman and her partner, Robert McMurray, received Octafinalist awards in the Open Division.  Ronnie Kennedy & Jimmy Kirkpatrick received Quarterfinalist awards.

DePauw Debaters Crowned National Champions!

Press Release: March 19, 2012 (Greencastle, IN)

The DePauw Debate Team claimed the national championship this past weekend at the Pi Kappa Delta National Comprehensive Tournament held this past weekend in Overland Park, Kansas.  Ronnie Kennedy and Jimmy Kirkpatrick compiled a 5-1 record in preliminary rounds to advance to elimination rounds.  Kennedy and Kirkpatrick defeated Northern Illinois University in the Quarterfinal round on a 3-0 decision.  They then defeated Webster University on a 3-0 decision in the Semifinal round, setting up a final round showdown with Boise State University.  They won the final round on a 2-1 decision to win the national title.  The final round resolution was: “Eliminate the World Bank.”  DePauw governed on the resolution, and Boise State opposed.  Kennedy and Kirkpatrick used strong empirical arguments about corruption at the World Bank, and its role in neo-imperialism and exploitation in the developing world to win the round.

Kirkpatrick further distinguished himself by capturing the 8th place speaker award.  Other DePauw debaters received similar recognition.  Shelby Beasley claimed the 7th Place speaker award, and her partner, Sam Leist, received the 4th place speaker award in the junior division.

Pi Kappa Delta is largest forensics honorary societies in the United States (, and claiming the PKD National Championship is one of the most significant achievements DePauw Debate has enjoyed over the past several years.  With over 68 schools competing at this year’s National Comprehensive Tournament, DePauw Debate has demonstrated, once again, that it has one of the strongest debate programs in the nation.

DePauw Debaters Reach Semi-Finals at Purdue

Press Release: Greencastle, IN (October 30, 2011):

Ronnie Kennedy and Jimmy Kirkpatrick improved on their previous outing by advancing to the Semi-Final round at the Boilermaker Special hosted by Purdue University.  The team went 4-2 in preliminary rounds before advancing to elimination rounds at the tournament.  They defeated IUPUI in the Octafinal round, and defeated a team from Loyola in the Quarterfinal round before dropping two another team from Loyola in the Semi-Finals.  In addition to their team award, Kirkpatrick was named 3rd Place speaker of the tournament, and Kennedy placed 15th.

DePauw Debate Captures Top Speaker Awards at Loyola University

Press Release: Greencastle, IN (September 26, 2011):

DePauw Debate Team Captain Jimmy Kirkpatrick received the Top Speaker Award at the Rambler Invitational this past weekend at Loyola University.  His partner at the tournament, Ronnie Kennedy, was the 12th Place speaker.  Together, the team of Kennedy and Kirkpatrick complied a 4-1 record in preliminary rounds, and received a Quarterfinalist award overall.

DePauw Debaters Third in the Nation!

Press Release (Greencastle, IN): March 15, 2011:

Six teams from DePauw University competed at the Novice National tournament hosted by the University of Indianapolis.  The team of Stewart Burns and Ronnie Kennedy was DePauw's top team at the tournament.  They dropped a close round in quarterfinals to the eventual tournament champion from Grove City College.  Burns further distinguished himself by capturing the 10th Place speaker award.  Overall, the DePauw debate team took home the 3rd Place Sweepstakes in Division III based on the outstanding performance of all of its debaters.

This performance comes off another outstanding showing by the DePauw Debate Team the previous weekend.  DePauw competed at the "Any Last Words" tournament co-hosted by Indiana University and IUPUI.  Again, DePauw won the 3rd Place sweepstakes award, and the team of Stewart Burns and Jimmy Kirkpatrick advanced to semi-finals, dropping a hotly contested round to the eventual tournament champion from Purdue University.  Burns was named the 3rd Place Speaker of the tournament, and Kirkpatrick was named Top Speaker of the tournament.

DePauw Debaters Enjoy Strong Showing at Loyola Rambler Tournament

Press Release: December 15, 2010 (Greencastle, IN):

The DePauw Debate Team demonstrated their argumentative prowess at the Rambler Invitational Tournament, hosted by Loyola University in Chicago. DePauw entered six teams in the open division, its largest contingent in the past several years. Avery Archer and Christine Walker advanced to the semi-final round, dropping a close debate to Hillsdale College. Keelin Kelly and Jimmy Kirkpatrick matched this feat, also dropping a close debate to Hillsdale in semi-finals. This, of course, allowed Hillsdale to close out the tournament. Aaron Dicker and Kevin Milne also advanced to elimiation rounds after compiling a 4-2 record in preliminary rounds, and earning the Seventh Seed. First year DePauw Debater Jimmy Kirkpatrick was recognized as one of the top speakers at the tournament, taking home the Eighth Place Speaker Award.

Debate Team advance to Final Round at University of Indianapolis

Press Release: September 28, 2010 (Greencastle, IN):

The DePauw University Debate Team won second place at the recent University of Indianapolis “Forensic 500” debate tournament. With an outstanding showing of its four teams, DePauw won second place in the overall sweepstakes at the tournament. In team competition, the DePauw team of Jimmy Kirkpatrick and Kevin Milne won quarterfinal and semifinal debates before dropping a close final round to Grove City College. Also garnering accolades at the tournament was sophomore Tyler Hess, who finished the tournament tied for 3rd best speaker overall. DW

DePauw Debater Wins Indiana University Debates Commemorating Lincoln Bicentennial

Press Release: February 10, 2009 (Greencastle, IN):

Senior Michael Lutz won the Intervarsity Lincoln-Douglas Debate Competition held at Indiana University, February 7-8, 2009.  The event, sponsored by the Hutton Honors College, the Indiana Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, ABE at IU, the Maurer School of Law, and others, brought together the top teams in debate from Illinois and Indiana to commemorate the Lincoln Bicentennial.

Lutz compiled a preliminary 5-1 record to advance to the semi-finals, and then to the final round where he faced stiff competition from the University of Illinois, but Lutz prevailed on a 4-1 decision because of the strength of his arguments and his persuasive performance according to the judges who were IU Professors, Bloomington City Council members, and Monroe County Council members.  The resolution for the tournament was “The United States Should Significantly Curtail the Powers of the President.”  Lutz spoke on the negative side in the final round.

Keelin Kelly, the other DePauw debater invited to the tournament, and Lutz’s regular season partner, also had a strong finish.  She compiled a 4-2 record in preliminary rounds to advance to the semi-finals, dropping in that round to the debater from Illinois that Lutz went on to defeat in the finals.


DePauw Debaters Second in Nation

Press Release: March 10, 2008 (Greencastle, IN):

The DePauw Debate team ended their season on a strong note, claiming second place at the Pi Kappa Delta National Comprehensive Tournament held this past weekend (March 6-9) in St. Louis.  Pi Kappa Delta is the National Forensics Honorary that has recognized achievement and excellence in speech and debate for 100 years.  DePauw University sent four teams to compete in a pool representing 47 schools.  Three of those teams advanced to elimination rounds because of their outstanding record in 6 preliminary rounds.  Avery Archer and Nikki Miyasato advanced to the octafinal round, Aaron Dicker and Kevin Milne advanced to the semi-final round, and Keelin Kelly and Michael Lutz advanced to the final round before dropping to McKendree University on a 2-1 decision in a hotly contested debate.  The judge who voted for DePauw wrote on his ballot, “DePauw obviously won the debate.”

DePauw was also recognized overall with the top national sweepstakes award.  This award is given to the top DSR-TKA chapter at the tournament.  DePauw is a founding member of DSR-TKA, one of three national forensic honoraries, and Professor Emeritus of Communication Robert Weiss was President of the organization for many years.  DePauw also received the third place overall sweepstakes award in debate, as well, because of the exceptional performance of all of the teams.


DePauw Debaters Finish Strong, Banerjea Named Top Speaker

Press Release: February 17, 2008 (Greencastle, IN):

The DePauw Debate Team had a strong showing at the Harper College “Litrenta Triangle” tournament this past weekend, its final regular season tournament.  Projesh Banerjea was honored as the top speaker of the entire tournament.  In addition, Banerjea and his partner, Kevin Milne, advanced to the quarterfinal round of the tournament.  The other DePauw team of Keelin Kelly and Michael Lutz compiled a 5-1 record in preliminary rounds, and advanced to semifinals before dropping a 2-1 decision to North Central College.  For the second consecutive tournament, DePauw received a debate sweepstakes award, this time placing third.  Overall, there were 23 schools competing at the tournament. 


DePauw Debaters Beat Wabash in Finals, Win Butler Tournament

Press Release: January 19, 2008 (Greencastle, IN):

The DePauw Debate Team continued their winning ways this past weekend, winning the Butler Bulldog Battle Tournament.  Michael Lutz and Kevin Milne compiled an undefeated record en route to a final round showdown with rival Wabash College.  DePauw handily won that round on a 3-0 decision.  DePauw debaters Brittney Belcher and Jessica Hawkins placed third at the tournament.  The strong showing of these two teams ensured that DePauw also won the Tournament Sweepstakes in debate for the first time in five years.  In addition, Michael Lutz was named the top speaker of the tournament, while Jessica Hawkins tied for second.  Overall, there were 17 schools competing at the tournament.  This marks the second consecutive tournament victory for the Tigers who have one regular season tournament left before competing in the Pi Kappa Delta National Tournament in March.


DePauw Debaters Win Loyola Tournament

Press Release: December 3, 2007 (Greencastle, IN):

First year debaters Avery Archer and Christine Walker won the “Loyola Rambler” debate tournament held Dec. 1-2, 2007, at Loyola University in Chicago.  Archer and Walker were the top seed going into elimination rounds.  They defeated a team from Hillsdale College in the final round on a 3-0 decision by governing on the motion: The United States Federal Government should change its foreign policy towards Russia.  En route to the final round, Archer and Walker had to debate and defeat another DePauw team in semi-finals because of their seeding.  That debate pitted Archer and Walker against first year debaters Brittney Belcher and Yijie Wang who compiled a 4-2 record in advancing to the semi-final round.  The semi-final debate was adjudicated by DePauw alum Tyler Kennedy (’07) who said it was a very close debate and a tough decision.  Keelin Kelly and Michael Lutz received similar recognition with a 4-2 record as they advanced to the open quarterfinal round.  Overall, DePauw defeated teams from Hillsdale, Marquette, Wheaton, Loyola, Wisconsin-Osh Kosh, Carthage, and Northern Illinois.

In addition to winning the tournament, DePauw debaters received several top speaker awards from a pool of over 70 debaters.  Kevin Milne took 9th, Micahel Lutz was 7th, Brittney Belcher received 6th, Avery Archer placed 4th, and Chistine Walker captured 3rd.  It was the strongest performance by the team this season. 


Kevin Milne Receives Top Speaker at Purdue Tournament

Press Release: September 20, 2007 (Greencastle, IN):

First year debater Kevin Milne overcame adversity to claim the top speaker award at the Purdue University "Boilermaker Special" debate tournament. Milne's partner had to drop out at the last minute because of an R.O.T.C. training exercise, so he was paired with a debater from Cumberland College. He adjusted nicely by still claiming the top speaker award of the tournament. Director of Forensics Geoff Klinger was impressed: "This was Kevin's first college tournament. He has made quite a positive early impression. He was an outstanding debater in high school, and this shows that he has what it takes to succeed on the college circuit."


Banerjea and Kennedy Capture Speaker Awards at the Wheaton College Tournament

Press Release: February 22, 2007 (Greencastle, IN):

Projesh Banerja received the Tenth Place Speaker Award, and Tyler Kennedy received the Ninth Place Speaker Award at the Larson-Hollatz debate tournament hosted at Wheaton College. DePauw debaters defeated teams from Century, Cedarville, Wheaton, Malone, Temple, and Notre Dame en route to another strong showing.


DePauw Debaters are National Champions!

Press Release: March 15, 2006 (Greencastle, IN):

DePauw University achieved the highest distinction in the debate community, closing out the final round at the Pi Kappa Delta National Comprehensive Tournament held March 10-13 in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  Pi Kappa Delta ( is the National Forensics Honorary that has recognized achievement and excellence in speech and debate for 100 years.  DePauw University sent two teams to compete in a pool representing 48 schools, and both teams won 6 debates en route to the final round.  In true championship form, the debaters agreed not to hold the debate and to share the national title for the 2005-06 academic year.  The two teams were J.J. Burns and Jenny Starcevich, and Tyler Kennedy and Michael Lutz.  Burns and Starcevich received further distinction by being recognized as the 5th and 2nd place top speakers of the tournament, respectively.  Despite having only two teams entered, DePauw University was also recognized as the 3rd place school in the overall debate sweepstakes award because of the outstanding performance of these two teams.


DePauw Debaters are Tournament Champions at Northern Illinois University

Press Release: October 10, 2006 (Greencastle, IN):

The DePauw debate team received top honors in early October at the M. Jack Parker Inviational Tournament hosted by Northern Illinois University. First year debaters Aaron Dicker and Nikki Miyasato were tournament champions in the novice division. The team of Tyler Kennedy and Micahel Lutz were quarterfinalists in the open division.


Tiger Debaters Receive Top Awards at Webster University

Press Release: December 7, 2005 (Greencastle, IN):

It was another successful weekend for the DePauw debate team in early December at the Webster University Study Break Tournament in St. Louis.  Projesh Banerjea and Michael Lutz were the fifth place team overall, and Jacob Krouse and Tom Walz captured ninth place.  In addition, these DePauw debaters further distinguished themselves by receiving top speaker awards.  Jacob Krouse placed 19th, Tom Walz took 12th, Projesh Banerjea captured 5th, and Micahel Lutz was named top speaker of the tournament.  This was the last tournament of the semester for DePauw.  In the spring, DePauw will compete in the Pi Kappa Delta National Comprehensive Tournament in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and the NPDA National Tournament held this year at Oregon State University in March.


DePauw Debaters Defeat British National Team, Earn Top Seed at Washburn University Tournament

Press Release: November 15, 2005 (Greencastle, IN):

Coming off a defeat of the British National Team representing Oxford University and the University of Glasgow in a Halloween debate on campus, DePauw’s top team continued their winning ways at the Washburn University Tournament held in Topeka, Kansas this past weekend.  Senior J.J. Burns and Junior Jenny Starcevich comprised the only undefeated team from a pool of 38 at the tournament.  Burns and Starcevich defeated teams from Concordia, Drury, William Jewell, Creighton, and Nebraska to earn the top seed of the tournament going into elimination rounds.  DePauw dropped a close semi-final round to the eventual tournament champion from William Jewell to earn a third place finish overall.  This is the strongest showing by the DePauw debate team this season which bauds well for the national tournament this spring at Oregon State University.


DePauw Debaters Capture Top Speaker Awards at Northern Illinois University

Press Release: October 10, 2005 (Greencastle, IN):

The DePauw Forensics Union enjoyed tremendous success this past weekend at the M. Jack Parker Invitational tournament hosted by Northern Illinois University.  DePauw took four of the top ten speaker awards for the tournament.  Jenny Starcevich set the pace with the 2nd place award.  Tyler Kennedy captured 3rd, J.J. Burns took 4th, and Michael Lutz finished 7th.  Geoff Klinger (’88), DePauw’s Director of Forensics commented on DePauw’s outstanding accomplishment: “This is the first time in my 12 years of coaching debate that every debater from one school has received an award of distinction.  It is very unusual for this to happen.  This shows that our students are among the most intelligent and articulate in the nation.”  After winning five rounds of preliminary debates with teams representing 15 different schools, DePauw’s top team advanced to elimination rounds, narrowly dropping to the top seeded team from Notre Dame on a 2-1 decision.


DePauw Debaters Tournament Champions

Press Release: November 15, 2004 (Greencastle, IN):

The DePauw debate team captured top honors at the Ruth A. Wilcox Debate Tournament, which was hosted by Marietta College in Ohio on November 8-9.  Tyler Kennedy and Alex Spiridonov went undefeated en route to the championship.  Projesh Banjerea and Jenny Starcevich placed second.  This is DePauw’s first tournament championship in years.  In addition, DePauw debaters captured three of the top four speaker honors.  Alex Spiridonov was recognized as the top speaker of the tournament, Jenny Starcevich took second place, and Tyler Kennedy placed fourth.  This is the last tournament of the Fall for the DePauw debate team as they get ready for three Spring tournaments, including the NPDA national tournament at Texas Tech University in March.


DePauw Debaters Host British National Team, Wabash College

Press Release: November 4, 2004 (Greencastle, IN):

Coming off a third place finish at the annual “You Don’t Say” Tournament at Ball State University, the DePauw Debate Society has the pleasure of hosting two public debates on campus.

First, the British National Debate team will take on DePauw in a public debate in the Watson Forum at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, November 8.  The debate topic will be: “Resolved: The War In Iraq Has Done More Harm Than Good.”  DePauw will affirm the resolution, and the British team will oppose the resolution.  The British team is composed of Aneurin Brewer of Bristol University who is a native of Barbados.  He was crowned European Champion in 2003, and reached the semi-finals of the World Championships held in Singapore in 2004.  Rob Marrs of The University of Glasgow is from Cambridge and reached the Scottish Mace Final in 2004.  Seniors Pravir Singh and Alex Spiridonov will represent DePauw.


DePauw Debaters Top Seed at Notre Dame, Third in Nation

Press Release: February 15, 2004 (Greencastle IN):

DePauw’s top debate team ended the regular season on a strong note, taking the Top Seed of the tournament at the Notre Dame Invitational.  It was a significant accomplishment for senior Erich Taylor, who notes that this marks the first time DePauw has gone undefeated in preliminary rounds in his four years.  The team of Taylor and sophomore J.J. Burns was one of two undefeated teams at the tournament, but outranked the other team from host school Notre Dame based on better speaker points.  J.J. Burns also received recognition as the third place speaker of the tournament, out of a field of nearly 100.

Burns and Taylor followed that up by placing third at the Delta Sigma Rho, Tau Kappa Alpha National Tournament held this last weekend at the University of Alabama.  This was especially significant because DePauw was a founding member of this forensic and academic honorary (  J.J. Burns, who was inducted into DSR/TKA this past weekend based on his outstanding forensic and academic achievements, once again received recognition as the third place speaker of the tournament.

This leaves DePauw well positioned for a satisfying experience at the final tournament of the year, the open NPDA National Tournament held in early April in Los Angeles.  That tournament involves 312 teams representing 96 different schools.  DePauw debate coach Geoff Klinger is pleased: “We have enjoyed tremendous success this year, both in and out of our region, now it is time for the big dance.  We are taking our top three teams, and know that we can hang with the best of them.  This is tribute to DePauw students, and the type of education that flourishes here.”   To get involved with DePauw’s forensics program, which is open to all regardless of previous experience, contact Geoff Klinger, Director of Forensics (


DePauw Debaters Continue Winning Ways at Drury University Tournament

Press Release: December 12, 2003 (Greencastle, IN):

For the third time in four tournaments, DePauw’s top debate team advanced to the final round at the “Ozarks Big 8” tournament hosted by Drury University in Springfield, Missouri.  After accumulating four wins in preliminary rounds, DePauw defeated teams from Purdue University and Arkansas State University in Quarterfinal and Semifinal rounds, respectively, before dropping an extremely close final round to Truman State University on a 3-2 decision.

The showing finds the team of senior Erich Taylor and sophomore J.J. Burns ranked 13th in the nation out of 774 teams ( going into the semester break.  This positions DePauw to make a run at the national title next semester, especially given their consistently strong showing at each tournament they attend.  Next semester, DePauw will attend important tournaments at Notre Dame, Cedarville, and Truman State in preparation


DePauw Debaters in National Elite

Press Release: October 20, 2003 (Greencastle, IN): 

The DePauw debate team has demonstrated that they are among the nation’s finest.  Building off their recent accomplishments at the season opening tournament at Purdue University, DePauw enjoyed broad-based success at their second tournament of the season at Ball State University last weekend.  DePauw’s top team again advanced to the final round of the tournament, dropping a close and highly contested round to the top team in the nation from the University of South Carolina.  The performance by senior Erich Taylor and sophomore J.J. Burns marks the second time they have been in the final round this season.  Their success was infectious as all three teams from DePauw advanced into the elimination octafinal round.  The team of Stefanie Duncan and Jenny Starcevich, and the team of Alex Spiridonov and Kalie Zamierowski, enjoyed their best showing of the season.  But the weekend belonged to Taylor and Burns, who now rank in the nation’s top ten.  DePauw’s Director of Forensics, Geoff Klinger, is delighted: “This is simply the best showing by DePauw debaters in over 20 years, and it is our best showing ever in parliamentary debate.”  Highlighting the significance of the accomplishment, Klinger notes, “We are currently the top team in Indiana, outdistancing teams from Notre Dame, Indiana, Purdue, Ball State, and Wabash, and we are currently one of the top three private liberal arts colleges in the nation in parliamentary debate.”  Indeed, DePauw defeated teams from much larger schools this past weekend, including Notre Dame, Purdue, Arkansas State, and South Carolina.  “This demonstrates that DePauw’s students are among the most intelligent and articulate in the nation,” Klinger observed.  DePauw’s next test will come against Wabash College in the historic Monon Bell Debate that will be held in Greencastle this year.  About this debate, Professor Klinger notes, “Wabash always has a good showing at these debates with almost 100 students making the trip; it is critically important that DePauw supports its team at this debate, especially given our recent success.”  To get involved with DePauw’s forensic teams, which are open to all, interested students should contact Geoff Klinger at, or ext. 5942.


DePauw Debaters Are Finalists at Purdue

Press Release: September 24, 2003 (Greencastle, IN):

DePauw University sent three teams to the season opening forensics tournament this past weekend.  One of two season opening national tournaments this weekend, DePauw made a strong early statement to competitors from other schools.  With 28 schools competing from as far away as Texas and Arkansas, and 48 teams in the varsity division of parliamentary debate, DePauw’s top team advanced all the way to the final round, dropping a close debate and 3-2 decision to perennial powerhouse Western Kentucky University.  Senior Erich Taylor and sophomore J.J. Burns compiled a 5-1 record in preliminary rounds, making them the second seed of the tournament.  Taylor and Burns then advanced through three elimination rounds, placing them in the final round against an outstanding Western Kentucky team, a team that they had defeated in earlier rounds.  Debating on the resolution: “The ‘invisible hand’ has led us astray,” DePauw represented the government in the debate, the team which supports the resolution, making compelling arguments about U.S. cultural imperialism and hegemony.  Although the team dropped a close 3-2 decision, it was a fulfilling experience for all of the DePauw debaters, who have never advanced this far at a tournament in recent years.  DePauw’s Director of Forensics and Assistant Professor of Communication, Geoff Klinger, was delighted with the team’s early performance: “The results from this tournament demonstrate that DePauw students are among the most intelligent and articulate in the nation.  We have shown schools of all sizes and makes that DePauw is nationally competitive, and we believe that this year holds great promise.”  Taylor and Burns also received individual recognition, with Erich Taylor receiving the 8th place speaker award at the tournament and partner J.J. Burns receiving the 11th place speaker award.  Additionally, Junior Alex Spiridonov was recognized as a semi-finalist in Impromptu Speaking, placing him 7th from a field of 54.  DePauw’s next tournament is at Ball State University the weekend of October 10th.  To get involved with the DePauw forensic teams or DePauw’s Debate Society, organizations open to all students, contact Geoff Klinger at,, or at 658-5942.


Debaters Are Champions in One Category, Sixth Overall in National Tournament

Press Release: March 18. 1999 (Greencastle, IN):

A team of six DePauw University student debaters won a national championship in one category and placed sixth overall among 35 predominantly large universities in a national tournament held at Clemson University, Clemson, S.C., from March 12-15..

First place overall in the Delta Sigma Rho-Tau Kappa Alpha tournament was won by Western Kentucky University, which fielded 45 student debaters. University of Alabama placed second, George Mason University third, Ohio University fourth and University of Colorado fifth - followed by DePauw.

Competition was in 15 categories, and a DePauw team of our students captured first place in the student legislative assembly category. Members of the team were senior Christopher J. Brown of Logansport, Ind.; sophomore Brian E. Dixon of Evansville, Ind.; senior Craig A. Erickson of Cincinnati; and senior Wayne M. Lashua of Kingsford Heights, Ind.

Completing the DePauw entry were sophomores Tracy A. Charlton of Bolingbrook, Ill., and Justin M. Gash of Newburgh, Ind.

Faculty adviser for the DePauw debate team is Susan Balter, assistant professor and director of forensics.

Other institutions competing in the national tournament included: American University, California State University-Fresno, Cornell University, Clemson, Emory University, University of Florida, James Madison University, Louisiana State University, Murray State, University of Rhode Island, University of South Carolina, Vanderbilt University, West Point, University of Wisconsin-River Falls and others.