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Forensics team wins national championship

(March 21, 2018) –Carson-Newman University’s forensics team has won the Pi Kappa Delta National championship. Held March 14-18 at Tennessee State University in Nashville, the team won the national championship in their division and finished 6th overall.

Carson-Newman team members David McConnell III and Bethany Lemons won the national championship for varsity parliamentary debaters. Thomas Fodor and Nancy Thompson won the national championship for novice parliamentary debaters.

Combined with other individual events, the team finished 10th overall.

“Many teams never get to experience the amazing accomplishments of this weekend,” said Chip Hall, C-N forensics coach and communications professor. “Having both the top varsity parliamentary debaters and the top novice parliamentary debaters in the same year is an astounding feat and was possible for us because of the dedication and adaptability of our brilliant students. It also comes from the commitment of our new debate coach Todd Rupe who obviously did stellar work this year.”

In addition to the national championship, the C-N team competed in the Novice National March 9-11 at Suffolk University in Boston, the national championship for students in their first year of intercollegiate competition.

Two C-N students won top honors. Lauren Scearce is the novice national champion in both prose and informative speaking and Nancy Thompson is the novice national champion in public narrative. The team finished in third place overall.

Hall added, “Having a novice team finish this well certainly speaks much about the next few years of our program. These first year competitors are already seasoned and I’m anxious to see them succeed in varsity competition.”

The team is currently preparing to compete in the oldest forensics tournament in the country, the Interstate Oratorical Association National Championship. Only two students from each state qualify to participate and C-N’s David McConnell III is one of the Tennessee representatives. He will compete in the persuasive speaking category.

Founded in 1851, Carson-Newman is a Christian liberal arts university located in Jefferson City, Tennessee, among the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. The University has over 2,500 students and offers 50 undergraduate majors, as well as associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees.

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