Morehouse College becomes the first historically black college/university to host the U.S. Universities Debating Championships.


Nearly 400 debaters representing more than 60 colleges and universities across the nation will be on campus Saturday, April 9 through Monday, April 11 to compete for national championships in several divisions. The U.S. Universities Debating Championships has been held annually since 2005.

Utilizing the British Parliamentary debate style, teams find out 15 minutes before each round what motion they will debate. Motions come from areas such as domestic and foreign policy, philosophy and political science. Four teams compete in each round, with two teams representing the government and two representing the opposition. Each team in a round has the dual burden to rebut arguments made by the two teams on the other side of a motion and defending the motion better than the team on their own side. Speakers alternate, delivering five to seven minute speeches. Judges rank the teams from one to four to declare winners of each round.

The Morehouse debate team, coached by Kenneth Newby, is ranked sixth in the nation in the latest National Parliamentary Debate Association tournament rankings – the highest ranking of any HBCU in the country. Under Newby, the team has won five national titles and is the only HBCU to have ever competed in the World Universities Debate Championships.

Morehouse College

Ranked America’s fifth “Most Entrepreneurial College” by Forbes Magazine in 2015, Morehouse College is the nation’s largest liberal arts college for men. Founded in 1867, the College enrolls approximately 2,100 students and historically has conferred more bachelor’s degrees on black men than any other institution in the world. Morehouse College has produced more Rhodes Scholars than any other HBCU. Prominent alumni include Martin Luther King Jr., Nobel Peace Prize laureate; Dr. David Satcher, former U.S. Surgeon General; Shelton “Spike” Lee, American filmmaker; Maynard H. Jackson, the first African American mayor of Atlanta, Ga.; and Jeh Johnson, the Secretary of Homeland Security.

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