Marlin Bates

Professor Marlin Bates, Pacific's Speech and Debate Team coach, has secured a nearly $75,000 sponsorship from the San Joaquin Railroad Commission for the Pat Kennedy Round-Robin Debate tournament.

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Pacific Speech and Debate Tournament Lands Major Sponsor

The San Joaquin Railroad Commission provided nearly $75,000 in sponsorship funds for Pacific's annual Pat Kennedy Round-Robin tournament. Debate topics will focus on transportation issues
Oct 8, 2012

The San Joaquin RailRoad Commission has given Pacific's annual Pat Kennedy Round-Robin tournament nearly $75,000 in sponsorship funds. The money will pay for buildings, trophies, an award ceremony, catering, photographers and videographers, advertising and other miscellaneous costs.

In return, all of the debate topics will deal with transportation issues, with an emphasis on high speed rail. The event also will be opened to the public, heavily marketed with the Commission's logos, and surveys will be conducted during the event on the topic of rail services in Central California.

The tournament will be held Nov. 2 in Grace Covell Hall as part of the "Pacific Meets the Delta Swing" event. "Delta Swing" is a combination of the Kennedy competition along with the Paul Winters Invitation debate tournament and the Mustang Invitational, both which run Nov. 2 through Nov. 4 on Pacific's Stockton Campus and at San Joaquin Delta College.

"This sponsorship will allow us to fully open the Pat Kennedy Round-Robin to the community and allow people to see what speech and debate is all about," said Marlin Bates, Pacific's Speech and Debate Team Coach and a professor of communication in the College of the Pacific. "The members of the commission were interested in sponsoring a student debate event so that they could get the student perspective on high speed rail while also promoting high-speed rail. So this is a win-win for the Commission and the University."

 The Kennedy event will feature twelve of the top NPDA schools in the nation in a modified double-elimination format tournament. Each team will compete at least twice in the tournament, regardless if they are eliminated in the first round or not. Teams that are eliminated twice are then dropped. This tournament, while offering the top-level competition of other Round Robin style tournaments around the nation, offers more teams more debates than any other format.

For more information about Pacific's Speech and Debate program and the Pat Kennedy Round-Robin, visit

For more information about the San Joaquin Railroad Commission, visit