Published on March 2, 2022 by Sean Flynt  
Samford University Debate Team 2021-22
Samford University Debate Team 2021-22

Samford University debaters earned top honors at the District 6 tournament held virtually at Emory University Feb. 19-20. Two teams of debaters also qualified for the National Debate Tournament (NDT).

 Sawyer Emerson was named Varsity Debater of the Year for the district–the first Samford debater to earn the honor.

 Grace Blackwell was named Novice of the Year.

The team of Emerson and Joey Tarnowski qualified for the NDT, as did the freshman team of T.J. Riggs and Aaron Gill. Director of Debate Ryan Galloway said the Riggs/Gill success was the first time in recent history Samford first year debaters have qualified.

Other Samford success at the tournament included victory in the novice division for the team of Grace Scott and Abby Montgomery. Scott was named top speaker. Montgomery was named second speaker.

"This success at the district tournament sets us up for success at the national tournaments yet to come," Galloway said.

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.