Baylor Debate Team Poised for Run at National Title

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Front Row, L to R: Alex McVey (Grad Asst), Amanda Luppes (Grad Asst), John Cook, Ashley Morgan, Kendall Kaut. Back Row, L to R: Dr. Matt Gerber (Dir), Nate Ford, Rachel Ford (Grad Asst), Katelin Morey, Eli Bacon, Kyle Vint (Grad Asst), Dr. Scott Varda (Asso Dir).
Sept. 27, 2011

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The Glenn R. Capp Debate Forum, Baylor's nationally-ranked debating team, begins this season poised for a run at the national championship.

Baylor's top debate team of seniors John Cook and Ashley Morgan were recently invited to the prestigious Kentucky Round Robin, which is reserved for the top eight individual debate teams in the country. Baylor will compete Sept. 28-29 against teams from Kansas, Georgia, Wake Forest, Michigan, Michigan State, Gonzaga and defending national champion Northwestern.

"It is a huge honor to be invited to the Kentucky Round Robin. It clearly indicates that Baylor's debate team is once again in position to compete for a national title," said Dr. Matt Gerber, associate professor of communication studies and director of Baylor's debate program.

"Baylor won national debate championships in 1975, 1987 and 1989, and we feel like this is the year for us to bring another one home," said Dr. Scott Varda, assistant professor of communication studies and associate director of the team.

Cook and Morgan reached the Elite Eight at last year's national championship in Dallas. The team of senior Nathan Ford and junior Kendall Kaut also qualified for the NDT last year, after posting a 6-2 record at the District III tournament. Seniors Sam Hogan and Grant Nelson also return for another year, as does the rest of the team.

"I believe we are one of the deepest debate squads in the nation, and while many other schools only have one outstanding team, Baylor has several," said graduate assistant coach Kyle Vint.

Following the season opener at Georgia State, the team will travel to debate tournaments at Kentucky, UNLV, Harvard, Wake Forest, USC and the University of Texas.

The National Debate Tournament will be held at Emory University in Atlanta in March 2012.

For more information, contact Dr. Matt Gerber at or visit the debate website at

About Baylor University

Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions.

Media contact: Lori Fogleman, director of media communications, (254) 710-6275

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