Published on October 16, 2019 by Sean Flynt  
debate students with awards
Samford debaters Sarah Emerson and Alyssa Gregory with Assistant Coach Lee Quinn at University Mary Washington tournament

Samford University debaters earned impressive early-season victories this fall.

The team of  Sarah Emerson and Alyssa Gregory defeated two University of Kentucky teams (one ranked fifth in the nation) at UK’s home JW Patterson Debates Sept. 28-30. The Samford debaters also beat teams from Emory University and the University of Nevada at Las Vegas during that competition.

Emerson and Gregory next traveled to the University of Mary Washington tournament Oct. 11-13, where they finished in the Elite Eight after beating Georgetown in the Sweet Sixteen. Gregory was the Ninth Speaker overall, and Emerson was the Top Speaker of the tournament.

Samford assistant debate coach Lee Quinn said the success at the UK tournament was especially impressive–demonstrating that Samford Debate is among the elite national programs, which has implications beyond the competition. “Debate victories against top universities improve Samford’s reputation on a national stage and benefit every student and faculty member,” Quinn said.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.