NORTHWESTERN and the N.D.T.
The National Debate Tournament (NDT) is the oldest and most prestigious competitive debating organization in the United States. Started at West Point in 1947, the NDT counts among its alumni, leaders in virtually every major field: business, law, politics, and academics. In fact, veterans of competitive public policy debating include United States Presidents, Supreme Court Justices, C.E.O. of Fortune 500 Companies, and Presidents, Provosts, and Deans of major Universities nationwide.
Founded in 1855, the Northwestern University Debate Society is the oldest intercollegiate debating organization in the United States. Each year, from mid-September through late-March, members of the Debate Society travel to competitions around the country to match strategy and argumentation skills with top-notch students from other major schools. On an annual basis, the group travels to 25 tournaments, and participates in nearly 1,000 debates.
Northwestern students have won The National Debate Tournament on 13 separate occasions, more than any other competitor. Four times, NU students have brought home back-to-back championships, most recently in 2002 and 2003. On ten occasions, NU students have been selected as the Tournament’s outstanding individual speaker, most recently in 2006.
The 1999 Northwestern team set an NDT record that may well never be broken: the captured 43 of 44 judge ballots at the event. They were awarded unanimous decisions in each of their elimination rounds, tying their own record from the previous year. They also became the first pair in nearly 50 years to capture first and second place individual honors at the prestigious tournament. Their 86 win and 6 loss season, capped by their record setting NDT, is not only one for the record books, but one for the ages.
NU students hold a variety of other NDT records, including most NDT wins and highest NDT win-loss percentage by a single student and the highest individual point performances by a single competitor. In fact, five NU students appear on the tournament’s top ten all time list.