Summer 2015

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Northwestern is the quarterly alumni magazine for Northwestern University.
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Arjun Vellayappan, left, and Alex Miles. Photo by Mary Henebry.

The Fast Talkers

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The Road Ahead

Read more on these outstanding seniors:

The Creatives

The Do-Gooders

The Greens

The Innovators

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Alex Miles & Arjun Vellayappan - Debate Duo

Dallas native Alex Miles and Arjun Vellayappan, of Lexington, Mass., will leave Northwestern as two of the University’s most accomplished debaters. The former high school adversaries won nearly 40 debates in a row on their way to winning their second consecutive Rex Copeland Award, given to the team with the best record throughout the season. Only one other team in National Debate Tournament history has won the Copeland award twice. Miles and Vellayappan made good on their top seeding at the NDT in April, when they led Northwestern to a record 15th national title. Earlier in the year Miles and Vellayappan also won the Wake Forest University Tournament without losing a single debate. With the victory, Vellayappan became the first four-time winner of the Wake Forest tournament, an unprecedented accomplishment that sparked a serious movement to rename the trophy in his honor. “These are Michael Jordan-esque numbers in the debate world,” says Northwestern debate head coach Daniel Fitzmier. Miles and Vellayappan, both political science and economics majors, are headed for careers in consulting — Miles at IBM and Vellayappan at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Interviews and text by Sean Hargadon.