Lindsey Hancock Warden
Lindsey Hancock Warden. Photo by Trey Clark, University of Memphis

Mercer University alumna Lindsey Hancock Warden recently coached the University Middle School debate team in Memphis, Tennessee, to the 2020 National Urban Debate League Championship.

The two-day virtual event, held May 2-3, marked the first time University Middle School students competed in a multiple-day national tournament. University Middle, opened in 2019, is a laboratory school operated as an extension of the University of Memphis.

Warden’s team defeated Early Scholars Speech and Debate from New York in the final round with a 2-1 decision in front of a three-judge panel.

“Winning the final round of the Urban Debate League Middle School Nationals is a special accomplishment, and it speaks to the dedication of these students, who have poured many hours into research, writing, practicing and watching tapes of past debate rounds,” said Warden, who serves as speech and debate coach and a social studies teacher at University Middle.

Warden, from Thompson’s Station, Tennessee, graduated from Mercer in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and went on to earn a Master of Science in Education from Johns Hopkins University.

She was a member of Mercer’s debate team during all four years of her undergraduate studies. In 2015, she won the state championship in the Georgia Parliamentary Debate Association and 10th-place speaker at National Parliamentary Debate Association nationals.

Continue reading about Warden at


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