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SMU One of Top 20 Colleges Nationwide with Most Improved Debate Programs

Reinstated in fall 2008, program makes significant strides in less than three years, according to National Debate Tournament

SMU is among the top 20 colleges nationwide with the most improved debate programs, according to an analysis by the National Debate Tournament. SMU was ranked no. 16 in growth among all national debate programs for the period May 2009-May 2010, with an increase of 58 points. 

 “This is an exceptional achievement for our program,” said Ben Voth, chair of the Division of Communication Studies and director of speech and debate at the Meadows School of the Arts. “After a four-year absence, the SMU debate program was reinstituted in fall 2008. The program went from zero to 90 points in its first year, and 90 to 148 points in ‘09-‘10. Our students are increasingly winning recognition, and one, Brittany Levingston, won the national Novice Debater of the Year award this spring. Our assistant director, Chris Salinas, won the Dick Stine Coaching Award as the top junior varsity coach of the year last year. SMU attended the National Debate tournament qualifier for the first time in more than 20 years this past spring. We’ve made dramatic strides in just three years, and we are adding some strong high school recruits in the fall-- including a presidential scholar.”

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