• Print

Highlights and History

Pacific Speech and Debate Highlights


Since 2004, the team has been directed by Dr. Marlin Bates. In that time, Pacific's Speech and Debate Team has continued its long tradition (since 1854!) of making its mark regionally and nationally.

  • 2009/2010: Pacific was in strong standings at the end of the fall tournament season, finishing first in some key tournaments and boasting debate teams ranked 1st, 23rd, and 39th out of 552 NPDA (National Parliamentary Debate Association) teams across the nation.

  • Sarah Hamid was selected as one of only three debaters across the country to compete against the Irish debate champions in the NPDA National Championship Tournament.

    Click here to read the full story!

  • 2008/2009: Pacific ranked first in the nation in NPDA standings shortly before hosting the NPDA Championship Tournament in spring 2009, an event that draws about 1,000 students from nearly 100 of the top universities. Pacific finished the year in second place nationally, the best ranking for Pacific since 1996 when it started doing Parliamentary Debate. Pacific sent four teams to the NPTE (National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence) for the first time.

  • 2007/2008: Pacific finished in 6th place nationally in NFA (National Forensic Association) Lincoln-Douglas Debate as well as 2nd in California in Individual Events. Pacific sent three teams to the NPTE for the first time.

  • 2006/2007: Pacific finished in 7th place in the national NPDA season-long sweepstakes.

  • 2005/2006: Pacific finished 6th in the nation in the national NPDA season-long sweepstakes. Pacific also finished 3rd in California in Individual Events.

  • 2004/2005: Pacific finished 11th in its division at the NFA National Championship. Pacific finished in 26th place in the NPDA season-long sweepstakes.

Pacific's Speech and Debate Origins


On March 25, 1854, a group of young men interested in debating and oratory met and appointed a committee to draw up a constitution for a college organization. A week later the Archanian Literary Society was formed. The purpose of the society was for students to "mutually [aid] each other in the acquirement of an easy, graceful, and impressive manner of speaking, as well as skill in the use of language..."

Thus, was born the development of forensics on the University of the Pacific campus. Since that time, Pacific has consistently ranked highly against other forensics programs in the nation.