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Whitworth University Forensics

Speech and Debate at Whitworth University

Whitworth Forensics is an interdisciplinary program that provides a rigorous intellectual experience for students interested in the exchange of ideas and in sharpening their public speaking skills. Forensics is open to all students regardless of academic major or previous public-speaking experience.

The Whitworth forensics team competes in intercollegiate tournaments in the Northwest Forensics Conference and in speech and debate tournaments nationwide. Team members test their skills against some of the finest speakers in the U.S. and consistently earn regional and national recognition.

The forensics program covers the costs of tournament entry fees, supplies, travel, meals and lodging, while students contribute the time, effort, enthusiasm and commitment to excellence necessary to prepare for and compete in tournaments. Students also take a one-credit course, Applied Speech: Forensics.

Spring 2012-13 Whitworth Forensics Highlights:

  • National champions.  The Whitworth University forensics team took first place at the National Christian College Forensics Association Tournament at John Brown University, in Siloam Springs, Ark., March 9-11, 2013.  This tournament included 24 Christian schools from 14 states who are members of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).  Whitworth took second in the debate sweepstakes and first in the overall sweepstakes, ahead of schools including Azusa Pacific University, Liberty University (Va.), Oral Roberts University (Okla.), Wheaton College (Ill.) and Wiley College (Texas).
  • Top debaters.  Whitworth closed out the semifinals of IPDA debate at four consecutive Northwest Forensics Conference tournaments in fall 2012. The team closed out semifinals at the NCCFA tournament in Arkansas, as well.

  • Top debate speakers. Whitworth won several key debate awards at the Oregon State University tournament in Corvallis, Ore., February 25-26, 2013.  In the varsity division of debate, Sam Director, ’15, won the Jeanne Hartman Popovich Debate Speaker Award as the best speaker out of 79 contestants. Teammate Alex Hoffmann, ’16, was named third-best speaker. In the novice division for debaters in their first year of competition, Whitworth had the two best speakers out of 55 debaters. Norann Beidas, ’16, and Sarah Dice, ’16, took the top honors.

  • Debating the Irish. On April 2, 2013, Whitworth hosted the Irish national champions in a public exhibition debate. In their contest with our Irish visitors, Whitworth's forensics team argued for the resolution “An education in the liberal arts is still important.”

American Forensics Association


International Public Debate Association


Contact Information

Mike Ingram

Director of Forensics


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