Mercer Debate Team Successfully Begins Season at Nationally Competitive Invitational in Missouri


MACON – Mercer University's debate team began the 2017-2018 season with a top-four finish in the varsity division and first place in the novice division Sept. 15-17 at the Georgia B. Bowman Invitational hosted by William Jewell University in Liberty, Missouri.

The experienced pairing of seniors Kyle Bligen, a politics, philosophy and economics (PPE) major, and Jaz Buckley, a political science and women's and gender studies double-major, reached the semifinal round before being eliminated by eventual winner the University of California, Berkeley.

Sophomores Taylor Cole, an accounting and communications double-major, and Eduardo Rubio, a mathematics, economics and computer science triple-major, won the novice division in their first tournament as a duo.

“This tournament was a massive victory for Mercer University,” said Dr. Vasile Stanescu, director of debate. “William Jewell's annual invitational is a top-tier, nationally competitive tournament. The schools that won nationals each of the last three years all attended, and Mercer defeated all of them. I could not be prouder of each of these debaters and their continued success.”

The debate team will continue the season at the Golden Gate Invitational, Oct. 28-29, at the University of California, Berkeley.