Published on October 19, 2011  

Samford will host a debate tournament focused on the state's controversial new immigration law Oct. 25.

When middle and high school debate students from north-central Alabama converge on Samford for the first Birmingham Area Debate League (BADL) tournament of the 2011-2012 season, they will address an issue likely bound for the U.S. Supreme Court. The resolution to be debated is "that the state of Alabama should repeal its recent immigration reform law (Act 2011-535)".

"Debate allows us to keep up with contemporary events, and these debates will highlight the importance of understanding the world around us,"said Dr. Ryan W. Galloway, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies and Director of Debate at Samford.

Abi Williams--Samford Communication Studies instructor, Debate Coach and SEC Debater of the Year for 2004 and 2005--said Samford is hosting the debates because the university's program is "blessed with some of the best debate minds in the country and an administration that is extremely supportive at every level". "We want to live our core value of service to the community," she said, "and the best way we can do that is through what we know best. We believe that debate can change lives".

The first of two rounds of immigration debates will begin at 3:30 p.m., with teams debating in various Samford venues. The two-round format will give each team the opportunity to debate both sides of the immigration issue.

Room listings and schedules will be in the east foyer of Brooks Hall (diagonally across from Propst Hall, Samford's science center).

Samford University, founded in 1841, is the largest privately supported institution for higher learning in Alabama. It enrolls more than 4,700 students from 47 states and 16 countries in eight academic schools: School of the Arts; Howard College of Arts and Sciences; Brock School of Business; Beeson Divinity School; Orlean Bullard Beeson School of Education and Professional Studies; Cumberland School of Law; Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing and; McWhorter School of Pharmacy.

Debate has been a prominent part of Samford's academic life since its founding as Howard College. Samford debaters Dan Bagwell and Logan Gramzinski carried Samford to the final 16 of the 2011 National Debate Tournament.


Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.