Debaters Emerge as Nation’s Best at Championship Tournament

Texas Tech becomes first in NPDA History to win two national championships in a three-year span.

Brian Horton and Adam Testerman

After winning 14 debates and losing only one, Brian Horton (L) and Adam Testerman (R) emerged victorious on their home turf.

After winning 14 debates and losing only one, a pair of debaters emerged victorious on their home turf.

Brian Horton, a senior political science, French and geography major from San Angelo, and Adam Testerman, a junior mass communications major from Springfield, Mo., won the 2010 National Parliamentary Debate Association’s (NPDA) championship tournament on Monday. The event was hosted by Texas Tech and featured nearly 200 two-person debate teams from schools across the nation.

“I could not be happier for Brian and Adam, our entire team and our coaching staff,” said Joe Gantt, head coach and director of forensics. “A lot of hours and days this year have been spent staying current with news, writing arguments, doing practice debates and traveling to tournaments. This is the ultimate payoff for all that work.

“Brian and Adam are just the latest example of excellence at Texas Tech University and they should make the entire university community extremely proud.”

Debating against the topic “Barack Obama is this generation’s Jimmy Carter,” the team won by a 7-2 decision by the nine-judge final panel. Texas Tech last won a national championship in 2008, and is the first school in the history of the NPDA to win two national championships in a three-year span.

Horton was given the NPDA All-American award, signifying excellence in debate, service and academics. Testerman was named one of the top 20 individual speakers at the tournament.

The pair also defeated teams from the United States Air Force Academy, the University of the Pacific and the University of Colorado to reach the national final debate against a team from Pepperdine University. Topics included Grecian debt, global currency, corporate personhood and health care reform.

The honors for Texas Tech did not stop there, however. Nicole Brown, a senior political science major from San Angelo, and Paul Williamson, a senior mass communications major from Crosby, were one of the top 32 teams in the nation.

These efforts, plus strong first-time performances from a number of freshmen debaters, pushed Texas Tech to be named the fourth place school at the tournament.

The debate team makes its final appearance March 26-29 at Azusa Pacific University, competing in the annual National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence. The event is a tournament of champions from the year.


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A degree in Communication Studies has never been more valuable and marketable than in the global, networked world of the 21st century. Through a dynamic and diverse curriculum that spans interpersonal, intercultural, and organizational communication as well as rhetoric and public affairs, students develop communication skills aimed at enhancing their personal, professional, and public lives.

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