Published on March 1, 2021 by Sean Flynt  
Maddox Sawyer
The team of Sawyer Emerson and Maddox Gates is ranked #7 in the U.S.

Samford University debaters qualified for the American Debate Association’s national tournament and the National Debate Tournament during competition in a regional championship hosted by Emory University Feb. 27-28.

The team of Sawyer Emerson and Maddox Gates–ranked #7 in the nation–qualified for the National Debate Tournament, defeating teams from University of Louisville, University of West Georgia, University of Kentucky and University of Georgia. Gates was named 5th speaker and Emerson was named 4th speaker. The team of Joey Tarnowski and Alyssa Gregory also competed in the Varsity division, defeating teams from University of Kentucky and University of Georgia.

The Samford team of Abi McKibben and Victor Roy–debating in their first tournament and with only three weeks of experience–won the rookie division of the championship, defeating Georgia State University. Roy was fourth speaker and McKibben was second speaker.

The Samford teams will next compete at the American Debate Association’s national tournament March 6-7.

 
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. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 37th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 97th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,758 students from 48 states and 22 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 3rd nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.