Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2005-03-03

Two Samford University debate teams tied for first place and a debater and the coach received top individual honors at recent southeastern regional competition in Atlanta, Ga.

The two-person teams of Clark Bowers and Ashley Streat and Jon Mann and James Phillips each advanced to the final round of competition. Rather than debate each other, the two Samford teams were considered tied for first place.

Phillips, a junior communication studies major from Vestavia Hills, was named this year's top debater in the region. The award is based on his performance at all tournaments in the region.

Dr. Mike Janas, director of the Samford debate program, received two coach of the year awards: one from fellow coaches and one from the student section.

Also at the tournament, the Samford team of Nicholas Agnello and John Wilkerson finished fifth.

The competition included only the top 28 teams in the region.This year's debate topic is whether or not the U.S. federal government should reduce its consumption of fossil fuels.


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.