Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2002-03-06

A Samford University debate team has qualified to compete in the National Debate Tournament.

Jim Smith and James Radford qualified for the national event by finishing in the top six at the Southeastern region's qualifying tournament hosted by Georgia State University on Feb. 23.

The Samford debaters defeated teams from the University of Louisville, State University of West Georgia, University of Alabama, Mercer University and the University of Florida. More than 50 schools competed.

Radford was ranked second best speaker at the tournament.

Smith and Radford, both from Troy, are former debaters at Troy's Charles Henderson High School.

The National Debate Tournament will be at Southwestern Missouri State University in Springfield, Mo., March 22-27. Samford has qualified for the national tournament 23 times since 1973.

Dr. Mike Janas is Samford director of debate. Ben Coulter is debate coach.


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 66th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 104th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,683 students from 47 states and 19 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.