Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2010-03-08

Samford University varsity debaters Logan Gramzinski and Dan Bagwell won an invitation to the prestigious National Debate Tournament (NDT) following their performance at the NDT’s District 6 competition Feb. 26-28.

The Samford team finished second at the district tournament, which included schools from eight southeast states. They defeated teams from University of Miami, University of West Georgia and Wake Forest University at the tournament, held at West Georgia.

This is Gramzinski’s third time to qualify for the NDT, which in the college debate world is comparable to basketball’s NCAA tournament.  Most debaters, says Samford coach Abi Williams, go their entire college career with qualifying for the NDT.

“Logan’s streak has proven that he is one of the most talented debaters, not just in our region, but in the country,” she said of the junior from Covington, Ga.

Bagwell, a sophomore from Blakely, Ga., has qualified twice for NDT.

The national tournament will be later this spring at University of California-Berkley. This year’s national intercollegiate debate topic is Resolved: The U.S. Federal government should substantially reduce the size of its nuclear weapons arsenal, and/or substantially reduce and restrict the role and/or missions of its nuclear weapons arsenal.

In other Samford debate action Feb. 26-28, varsity teammates Jayme Cloninger and Jacob Lewis advanced to the quarter-final round at the South East Central regional tournament before being defeated by a top-20 team from Emory University.

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.