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Don’t Hate it, Debate it!


Press Release

May 16, 2022 | Georgia Seagraves

 Graceland University launches its first co-curricular competitive debate team in Fall 2022. Many high school students have expressed interest in debate and forensics, so in an effort to recruit more of those students, Graceland will offer these teams for students to represent the University in competitions across the Midwest. Visiting Assistant Professor of Communication Mark Gardner is piloting the program; he has experience with the National Educational Debate Association (NEDA), an active collegiate debate association with university members across the United States.  

Debate and forensics teams are excellent environments to foster critical thinking, growth mindsets, and public speaking abilities. In this program, participating members will enroll in a course-specific to debate; a faculty member will teach different theories of debate, mentor students on proper research and active reading practices, and train students to be exceptional public speakers. 

Graceland’s addition of debate is consistent with our ongoing commitment to create a learning environment where extracurricular and co-curricular activities provide educational opportunities that complement traditional classroom learning, said Deb Skinner, Vice President of Admissions.The fostering of strong critical thinkers is at the heart of the education that we provide. 

Graceland’s competitive debate team will offer student leadership roles on campus, direct mentorship opportunities, and professional networking as part of the course enrollment and scholarship contracts.   

Scholarships are still available for students interested in debate and forensics; students interested in joining the debate and forensics team should reach out to our admissions team at or Mark Gardner at

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