Four decades ago, when the University of Central Florida was known as Florida Technological University, the school was nationally known in the world of debate, competing against the likes of Harvard and Northwestern.
After years of inactivity, UCF Debate is back, thanks to Nicholson School of Communication Instructor Sydne Kasle. Kasle began restoring the program upon arriving at UCF in August, and she now serves as director of debate.
“Part of re-establishing the UCF Debate program involves telling the history of the program, and who better to ask than the alumni,” she said.
The talents of UCF’s first debaters will be honored during a ceremony at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 11, at the Fairwinds Alumni Center.
The honorees will include Ed Foster, Richard Millian, Richard Bloomquist, Glen Padgett, Tom Marcinko and Mike Buchanan. They will be reunited with their debate coach, Associate Professor Jeff Butler.
A new generation of debaters will help re-launch UCF Debate during a college invitational tournament Saturday, Feb. 12, and Sunday, Feb. 13, at the Nicholson School of Communication. UCF’s team will compete against debaters from the University of Florida, University of Miami, Monmouth University and Appalachian State University.
UCF’s debate team is open to all undergraduate students. Studies show that debate can help students develop and expand their skills in research, critical thinking, logical processing, listening, organization and advocacy, Kasle said.
Meetings are held every Wednesday from 5 to 7 p.m. in room 254 of the Nicholson School of Communication. Visit the UCF Debate website to learn more.