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Undebatable Success Yet Again

Northwestern debate team wins 2011 National Debate Tournament

March 29, 2011 | by Wendy Leopold
Northwestern is the "winningest" debate society in National Debate Tournament history with 14 titles.
EVANSTON, Ill. --- The Wildcats will get no argument about their status as the best debaters in the country. After vanquishing Emory University yesterday (March 28) at the University of Texas-Dallas, the Northwestern Debate Society became the 2011 National Debate Tournament champions.

Seniors Stephanie Spies and Matt Fisher nailed the NDT championship late last night. In doing so, the exhausted Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences duo made history as the first to win both the National Debate Tournament and the Tournament of Champions. Longtime friends, the two won the Tournament of Champions as debaters at Glenbrook North High School.

The Northwestern debate team remains the “winningest” debate society in NDT history, with an unprecedented 14 championships. It is the first NDT win for Dan Fitzmier since he was named Wildcat debate coach in 2009.

Spies also took home the top speaker prize at the 65th annual NDT. Junior Ryan Beiermeister and freshman Layne Kirshon advanced as second seed to the semifinals before losing to Emory. The two were 8-0 in preliminary debates.

“Northwestern is one of the few elite universities that maintains a strong connection between its intercollegiate debate program and its curriculum in studies of argumentation and public policy debate,” said School of Communication Dean Barbara O’Keefe. “Dan Fitzmier is a great teacher and mentor to our students.”

With a heritage going back to 1855, the Northwestern Debate Society is the oldest continuous debate program in the nation. It is funded and administered by the School of Communication.

Topics: Campus Life