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Name Forensics Team (WKU)
Details The debate team was known at various times as the Western Debaters, Debate Squad, Intercollegiate Debate Team, Western Debate Association/Associates, Forensic Union, and the William E. Bivin Forensic Society. Since 2006, it has been the WKU Forensic Team.

Competitive debate began for Western at the precursor institution, Ogden College, in the 1870s. In 1919, the Congress Debating Club was established at the Western Kentucky Normal School. Debate and oratorical skills were practiced at CDC meetings and members often participated in competitions as individuals and as part of a debate team. During World War II, scarce resources ended debating for a while, but returned in the late 1940s. Women had their own debating clubs (ex. Girls Debating Club, formed 1928) and contests (sponsored by the AAUW and SNEA), but were not prominent in debate competition in the 1930s and 1940s. They were allowed to join the Congress Debating Club and returned to competitive debate in about 1950.

The debate team was administered by the English department until Speech and Theatre was separated into a new department in 1968 and became its new home. WKU first awarded debate scholarships in 1963. Speech and Theatre became Communication and Theatre in 1976.

The forensics program was once again discontinued in the early 1980s, but was reestablished in December 1987 by the Regents as the William E. Bivin Forensic Society and was the "responsibility of the Department of Communication and Broadcasting." Forensics stayed with Communication when Broadcasting was moved to the School of Journalism & Broadcasting in 1999.

After a decade of advocacy, Judy Woodring was able to convince the administration that a forensic team was a good investment. Between 1999 and 2003, she was able to increase the coaching staff and establish a more professionalized approach to forensic competition. Deadlines for writing drafts of speeches and performance of a piece for a coach before being scheduled to compete are two examples.

In 2004, the forensics program established the Elizabeth McWhorter Harden Forensics Alumni Association, named after a 1956 graduate, former debate team member, and first woman president of the Congress Debating Club. In 2008, Forensics was separated from Communication and now reports directly to the office of the Provost.

The WKU Forensics Team is unique among its competitors because it competes successfully in both speech (dubbed individual events) and debate.
"Our program has won more national forensics titles in the last ten years than any other team in the country. WKU is the only team to win the American Forensic Association national title, National Forensic Association national title, NFA debate national title and the International Forensic Association title all in the same year, a benchmark the team has set six times." Ganer Newman, 2015, https://www.wku.edu/forensics/

Sources:
Board of Regents meeting minutes, December 1987
Chandler, Chris, Email re: Forensic Team Context Statement, 1/15/2016
Wilson, George, Western Debate as Old as the Hill, CHH 04/21/1965
WKU Speech Program Starts Alumni Group, PCDN 07/14/2004
Wood, Willson, History of the English Department 1907-1972, UA68/6/1
http://www.wkuforensics.com/historical-archives/
Archives Entries 202
Library Entries 1
Object Entries 1
Photograph Entries 97

Associated Records

Image of Potter College of Arts & Letters (WKU)

Potter College of Arts & Letters (WKU) -

Records created by the Potter College of Arts & Letters and its reporting offices: Series 1. Deans, Assistant Deans, Committees Series 2. Interdisciplinary Studies Series 3. Communication Series 4. Political Science Series 5. Art Series 6. English Series 7. Modern Languages Series 8. History Series 9. Music Series 10. Sociology Series 11. Philosophy & Religion Series 13. School of Journalism & Broadcasting Series 14. Folk Studies & Anthropology Series 17. Theatre & Dance Series 18. Women's Studies & Support Program

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Communication (WKU) -

Audiotape regarding the restablishment of the William Biven Forensic Society.

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Forensics Team (WKU) -

Records created by and about the forensics / debate team.

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Student Affairs (WKU) -

College Heights Herald, Vol. 41, No. 15-Z251, available online at: <a href="http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/2158/">http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/2158/</a>. WKU campus newspaper reporting campus, athletic and Bowling Green, Kentucky news. Regular features include: Hilltopics Book Marks The Clock Says Religious News Looking Backward The Potpourri Boils Society Alumni News Faculty Facts ROTC News Above the Rim Sports Slants This issue contains articles: Record Number Enrolled in 1961 Summer Session Nineteen Win Grants for Graduate Work College Heights Herald Expands to Weekly Science Institute Enrolls 81 High School Teachers We

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College Heights Herald, Vol. 27, No. 1-Z245 available online at: <a href="http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/2832/">http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/2832/</a>. WKU campus newspaper reporting campus, athletic and Bowling Green, Kentucky news. Regular features include: Birds I View Looking Backward Hilltopics Mind Your Manners Kentucky Building News Alumni News Book Marks Society Page Faculty Notes Training School Notes Club News Articles in this issue: Vernon Stone, Bill Ford Head Staff of College Heights Herald Illness Ends in Death for M.L. Billings Jesse Stuart, Early to Speak at TDEA October 20 Classical Associaiton to Meet Here Injury Fatal to

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College Heights Herald, Vol. 26, No. 7-Z245 available online at: <a href="http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/2823/">http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/2823/</a>. WKU campus newspaper reporting campus, athletic and Bowling Green, Kentucky news. Regular features include: Book Marks Hilltopics Society Page Faculty Notes Club News Sports Birds I View Looking Backward Kentucky Building News Alumni Flashes Personals Articles in this issue: Student Union Building Plans Being Made - Garrett Hall 64 Complete Requirements for Degrees Western Downs Falcons, 103-87 1,763 Students Enroll at Western for Second Semester History Prof. to Lecture - John Oliver

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College Heights Herald, Vol. 26, No. 8-Z245, misnumbered as No. 28 available online at: <a href="http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/2824/">http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/2824/</a>. WKU campus newspaper reporting campus, athletic and Bowling Green, Kentucky news. Regular features include: Book Marks Hilltopics Society Page Faculty Notes Club News Sports Birds I View Looking Backward Kentucky Building News Alumni Flashes Personals Vets Views Kentucky Building News Articles in this issue: Hilltoppers to Meet TPI in OVC Tournament Tonight Geography Club Reorganized Hawkins, Edith. Final Concert of Season to Feature Nan Merriman Talisman Ball May b

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College Heights Herald, Vol. 26, No. 14-Z245 available online at: <a href="http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/2830/">http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/2830/</a>. WKU campus newspaper reporting campus, athletic and Bowling Green, Kentucky news. Regular features include: Book Marks Hilltopics Society Page Faculty Notes Club News Sports Birds I View Looking Backward Kentucky Building News Alumni Flashes Personals Vets Views Kentucky Building News Musical Notes Tidbits of Kentucky Folklore Articles in this issue: College Heights Herald Celebrates Its 25th Year Western’s 27th Graduating Class Get Degrees June 1 Grads to Hear Two Educators Herald Edi

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College Heights Herald, Vol. 27, No. 3-Z245 available online at: <a href="http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/2834/">http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/2834/</a>. WKU campus newspaper reporting campus, athletic and Bowling Green, Kentucky news. Regular features include: Birds I View Looking Backward Hilltopics Mind Your Manners Kentucky Building News Alumni News Book Marks Society Page Faculty Notes Training School Notes Club News Campus Crossfire – cartoon Looking Around Articles in this issue: 21st Homecoming is Next Weekend Thursday Show Stars Charles Laughton Actor Chapel Next Week Features Writer on Philosophy - Roger Holmes Woody Herman Eng

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College Heights Herald, Vol. 27, No. 4-Z245 available online at: <a href="http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/2846/">http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/2846/</a>. WKU campus newspaper reporting campus, athletic and Bowling Green, Kentucky news. Regular features include: Birds I View Looking Backward Hilltopics Mind Your Manners Kentucky Building News Alumni News Book Marks Society Page Faculty Notes Training School Notes Club News Campus Crossfire – cartoon Looking Around Articles in this issue: Students, Faculty Elect 28 Seniors to “Who’s Who” Modern Minstrel to Give Chapel Show Nov. 27 Grid Victory is Top Event of Homecoming Toppers Meet OVC Cham

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College Heights Herald, Vol. 27, No. 7-Z245 available online at: <a href="http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/2843/">http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/2843/</a>. WKU campus newspaper reporting campus, athletic and Bowling Green, Kentucky news. Regular features include: Birds I View Looking Backward Hilltopics Mind Your Manners Kentucky Building News Alumni News Book Marks Society Page Faculty Notes Training School Notes Club News Campus Crossfire – cartoon Looking Around Articles in this issue: Debaters Meet Georgetown in Initial Match Mac Morgan Gives Concert Feb. 21 Western Enrollment for Spring Semester is 1507 Students May Finish Year and Have

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College Heights Herald, Vol. 27, No. 8-Z245 available online at: <a href="http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/2842/">http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/2842/</a>. WKU campus newspaper reporting campus, athletic and Bowling Green, Kentucky news. Regular features include: Birds I View Looking Backward Hilltopics Mind Your Manners Kentucky Building News Alumni News Book Marks Society Page Faculty Notes Training School Notes Club News Campus Crossfire – cartoon Looking Around Articles in this issue: Tucker, Aubrey. Western Plays Murray Tomorrow Requirements for Degrees Completed by 51 Seniors Wednesday Night Set for Robinson Contest Finals Murray Deba

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College Heights Herald, Vol. 27, No. 9-Z245 available online at: <a href="http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/2841/">http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/2841/</a>. WKU campus newspaper reporting campus, athletic and Bowling Green, Kentucky news. Regular features include: Birds I View Looking Backward Hilltopics Mind Your Manners Kentucky Building News Alumni News Book Marks Society Page Faculty Notes Training School Notes Club News Campus Crossfire – cartoon Looking Around Articles in this issue: Sara Downing Cast in Title Role of "Kind Lady" Kniesel String Quartet Slated for Assembly Western Accepts Bid to Bradley Tourney Orchestra Plans Chapel C

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College Heights Herald, Vol. 27, No. 11-Z245 available online at: <a href="http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/2839/">http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/2839/</a>. WKU campus newspaper reporting campus, athletic and Bowling Green, Kentucky news. Regular features include: Birds I View Looking Backward Hilltopics Mind Your Manners Kentucky Building News Alumni News Book Marks Society Page Faculty Notes Training School Notes Club News Campus Crossfire – cartoon Looking Around Articles in this issue: World Author Louis Alber to Speak on Kremlin Western Program for KEA Fills April 11-13 - Kentucky Education Association New Deferment Plan Set Up for Coll

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College Heights Herald, Vol. 28, No. 3-Z245 available online at: <a href="http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/2850/">http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/2850/</a>. WKU campus newspaper reporting campus, athletic and Bowling Green, Kentucky news. Regular features include: Birds I View Looking Backward Hilltopics Mind Your Manners Kentucky Building News Alumni News Book Marks Society Page Faculty Notes Training School Notes Club News Campus Crossfire – cartoon Looking Around Articles in this issue: Boswell Will Speak at Folklore Meeting Here - George Boswell Economics Club Being Formed Irish Folklorest Scheduled for Chapel Next Wednesday - Seumas MacM

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College Heights Herald, Vol. 28, No. 6-Z245 available online at: <a href="http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/2847/">http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/2847/</a>. WKU campus newspaper reporting campus, athletic and Bowling Green, Kentucky news. Regular features include: Birds I View Looking Backward Hilltopics Mind Your Manners Kentucky Building News Alumni News Book Marks Society Page Faculty Notes Training School Notes Club News Campus Crossfire – cartoon Looking Around Articles in this issue: Twenty-Two Make "Who's Who" Dr. Gordon Wilson to be Speaker at Farm & Home Convention Hilltoppers Have Big OVC Test Tomorrow James Hines Elected Ogden Al

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College Heights Herald, Vol. 28, No. 7-Z245 available online at: <a href="http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/2856/">http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/2856/</a>. WKU campus newspaper reporting campus, athletic and Bowling Green, Kentucky news. Regular features include: Birds I View Looking Backward Hilltopics Mind Your Manners Kentucky Building News Alumni News Book Marks Society Page Faculty Notes Training School Notes Club News Campus Crossfire – cartoon Looking Around Articles in this issue: Silver Star Presented - Mrs. James Jones - George Jones Speech Contests Are Announced Rough Night in Store for Diddle Team at Eastern Kentucky Ballerina t

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College Heights Herald, Vol. 28, No. 8-Z245 available online at: <a href="http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/2855/">http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/2855/</a>. WKU campus newspaper reporting campus, athletic and Bowling Green, Kentucky news. Regular features include: Birds I View Looking Backward Hilltopics Mind Your Manners Kentucky Building News Alumni News Book Marks Society Page Faculty Notes Training School Notes Club News Campus Crossfire – cartoon Looking Around Articles in this issue: Western Plays Marshall Tonight Crowned Basketball Queen - Pat Horn Applicants Should Take Med School Test in May Speakers to be Invited to Address Taff Ec

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College Heights Herald, Vol. 28, No. 9-Z245 available online at: <a href="http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/2854/">http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/2854/</a>. WKU campus newspaper reporting campus, athletic and Bowling Green, Kentucky news. Regular features include: Birds I View Looking Backward Hilltopics Mind Your Manners Kentucky Building News Alumni News Book Marks Society Page Faculty Notes Training School Notes Club News Campus Crossfire – cartoon Looking Around Articles in this issue: Successful Season Closed by Western Debate Team Oliver, Tod. Hilltoppers Meet University of Louisville in First Game of NIT Tomorrow at 5 p.M. Jerry Parker

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College Heights Herald, Vol. 28, No. 10-Z245 available online at: <a href="http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/2853/">http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/2853/</a>. WKU campus newspaper reporting campus, athletic and Bowling Green, Kentucky news. Regular features include: Birds I View Looking Backward Hilltopics Mind Your Manners Kentucky Building News Alumni News Book Marks Society Page Faculty Notes Training School Notes Club News Campus Crossfire – cartoon Looking Around Articles in this issue: R.C. Buley Speaks at History Banquet College Heights Herald Rated Medalist by CSPA - Columbia Scholastic Press Association Twelve Enter Regional Speech Co