Wednesday, September 20, 2017


Win Photo 2018

The A. Craig Baird Debate Forum, a unit in the Office of the Provost and University College, returned to campus victorious after attending the season opener for intercollegiate debate at University of Missouri – Kansas City from Friday, September 15th – Monday, September 18th. The team of Geo Liriano and Sam Gustavson, Iowa GL, defeated a team from University of Southern California in the finals.  USC is coached by Iowa alumna Kiran Dhillon, the first female Director of Debate at USC. Along the way, Geo and Sam racked up a number of impressive wins and were the only team at the tournament to go undefeated (12 – 0).

The duo earned top individual awards at the tournament, finishing as the Top Speakers at the tournament.  Speaker awards represent the judges’ opinions of who are the best individual debaters at the tournament, much like tournament MVP awards.  Rarely does a team place both members in the positions of #1 and #2. In addition, on their way to winning the tournament, they defeated two teams ranked in the top ten from last year’s National Championship, three teams ranked in the preseason Top 16, and went into elimination debates as the Top Seed at the tournament. Geo sums up the significance of these results: “Iowa GL is active. I used to say ‘don’t sleep on us’ but now you all are going to have to ‘get the crust out of your eyes’”. The A. Craig Baird Debate Forum thanks the Office of the President, Office of the Provost and Debate alumni for their continued support of the program.

Hawks fly together!