Debate Team Earns Victory at Mile High Swing


MACON – Mercer University debaters Cam Wade and Matthew Thompson won part two of the 15th annual Mile High Swing, traditionally the nation’s largest parliamentary debate competition outside of nationals.

The “Swing,” hosted by William Jewell College and held virtually Jan. 14 and 16, was divided into two halves each consisting of a complete parliamentary debate tournament.

“Mile High is one of the most prestigious debate tournaments,” said Dr. Vasile Stanescu, associate professor of communication and director of debate. “In the quarterfinals, Mercer defeated Oregon State; in the semifinals, Mercer beat Penn State, and in the final round we defeated UC Berkeley to win the tournament. This was a remarkable win, and I am deeply proud of each of these exceptional Mercer students.”

Wade is a junior women’s and gender studies and English double-major, and Thompson is a freshman chemical commerce and French double-major.

Additionally, senior Cameron Dawkins, a global health studies and Spanish double-major, was named eighth-place speaker, and senior Yasmeen Hill, a journalism and media studies double-major, was named 10th-place speaker.

Dr. Stanescu was assisted in his coaching duties by two former Mercer debaters, Jaz Buckley, a National Parliamentary Debate Association national champion and top speaker who is pursuing her law degree at UCLA, and Cameron Kunzelman, who serves as coordinator of fellowships and scholarships at Mercer.

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Mercer University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences serves as the academic cornerstone of one of America’s oldest and most distinctive institutions of higher learning. The oldest and largest of Mercer’s 12 schools and colleges, it is a diverse and vibrant community, enrolling more than 1,900 students, dedicated to learning and service through the practice of intellectual curiosity, respectful dialog and responsible citizenry. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers majors in more than 30 areas of study, including more than a dozen pre-professional academic tracks, with classes taught by an outstanding faculty of scholars. In 2015, Mercer was awarded a chapter of The Phi Beta Kappa Society, the nation’s most prestigious academic honor society that recognizes exceptional achievement in the arts and sciences. For more information, visit