Published on September 26, 2013  

Samford University’s debate team opened its season with an outstanding performance at the Georgia State University National Debate Tournament Sept. 20-23.

Sophomore Erin Carley and freshman Will Higgins reached the final four of the Junior Varsity division, had a winning record in preliminary rounds before beating teams from the University of West Georgia and Miami University in elimination rounds. Carley was named fifth speaker at the tournament, and the duo beat teams from Clarion University, Appalachian State University, as well as Liberty University, ranked the number-one program in the United States last year.

Sophomores Natalie Bennie and Josh Morrison-Alvarez also competed at the tournament, had a winning preliminary record and beat teams from James Madison University, the University of South Florida, Kansas City Kansas Community College and Liberty University. Alvarez was named ninth speaker and Bennie was named seventh speaker.

Sophomore Davis Kimball and Senior Matt Sessions competed in the open division and scored wins against Indiana University, Emory University, Wake Forest University, and Liberty University.

The debate Bulldogs had a great weekend and are looking forward to more victories at the Kentucky and James Madison tournaments in weeks to come.

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.