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Debate Team

"A good leader can engage in a debate frankly and thoroughly, knowing that at the end he and the other side must be closer, and thus emerge stronger. You don't have that idea when you are arrogant, superficial, and uninformed." - Nelson Mandela

The Lenoir-Rhyne University Debate Team travels to intercollegiate debate tournaments beginning in the fall of each academic year. The focus of the team is to build a deeper understanding of argumentation and advocacy through participation and practice in public and competitive debates. The team maintains an average of 14 members each year.

2014 & 2015 National Champions

The Debate Team of Lenoir-Rhyne University has arguably become a contender to beat. In 2015, the team won their second consecutive national championship in just their second year of competition in nearly a quarter century. Students competed at the National Christian College Forensics Association National Championship held at Colorado Christian University in Lakewood, where team members Nicholas (Nick) Gibson and Luke Lynch became the Novice Parliamentary Debate Champions.

In its first year of returned competition, the team of Jake Fisher and Rebecca Payne were named Parliamentary Debate National Champions at the 2014 Novice National Championship Forensic Tournament in DeKalb, Illinois. The team’s immediate success has brought with it high expectations, but members continue to rise to the occasion and continued to excel.

Why Debate at LR?

The Liberal Arts Edge

Lenoir-Rhyne offers you a very comprehensive and applicable education that prepares you for your career. Not only do you learn how to broadly approach education, but you develop a better sense of community and compassion for interactions at every level. Debate can also develop your research, critical thinking, and argumentation skills that are necessary for your success inside and out of the classroom. We are also an organization that understands your priorities, so we emphasize the need to succeed in the classroom before you take that content and apply it in other areas.

Coaching & Travel Opportunities

LR can offer you more, direct interactions with the Director of Debate. The size of the team and time available to students ensures that no student will slip between the cracks. You will get specific mentoring on any issue that is valuable to you and your success in collegiate debate. The size of the team also makes it easier for more students to travel to debate competitions. Larger teams, due to budgetary constraints, can only travel a few teams to competitions, but LR debate will ensure that if there is a desire to compete - you will!

History of the Team

1976- Dan Green, Andy Howard, Steve McLendon, Lynn Robinson, Jayne Scarborough.

1975- Dr. Russell Brown (Coach), Tom Fenton, Paula Schmidt, Dan Green, Andy Howard.

1974- Charles Fritz, Renee Brown, Sarah Turner, Coach Bud Brown, Assistant Lou Rossiter, Assistant Bill Mauney, Ted Amato, Tom Fenton.