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The Cal Debate Team

The Cal Debate Team teaches critical thinking skills and persuasive communication techniques to an exceptional group of students. Cal Debate promotes a culture of intellectual inquiry while embracing the competitive nature of collegiate debate. One of the most successful debate teams in the country, our program trains students to question wide-ranging issues such as immigration reform, nuclear weapons policy, promoting democracy in the Middle East, and agricultural subsidies.

Learn more about Cal Debate.

 

Ten years ago, Cal Debate experienced a resurgence when a small but committed group of Cal Debate alumni and friends came together to rebuild the excellence of the team. Their philanthropic support helped recruit a nationally recognized coaching staff. Thanks to their business acumen, they were able to identify new income streams, which Berkeley’s coaching staff further developed. With that support, Cal Debate’s ranking has experienced a meteoric rise, soaring from obscurity to an established position as one of the top 10 teams in the nation, including several years as #1.

In the last decade, Berkeley has won every national invitational tournament at least once, and participated in the final elimination debate of the National Debate Tournament twice. Prof. William Southworth esteemed national survey of the nation’s top 40 debate programs voted two Berkeley students, one coach and two teams into the top ten “Best of Decade.” Recent alumni have gone on to top-ten law schools and accepted prestigious corporate posts at high tech giants, global legal firms, and served as civilian advisors to the United States military and State Department.

With its foundation established, Cal Debate is ready to take the next step in its development.

Make a Gift to Cal Debate


For more information:

Student Affairs Philanthropy
337 Sproul Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-2428
510.643.5810
saphilanthropy@berkeley.edu

Our Plan

The strength of Cal debate derives from the exceptional quality of its students. UC Berkeley will never have the resources available to teams at affluent private universities—who can and do hire small armies of assistant coaches, or offer prestigious post-graduate teaching positions to coaches —and so instead the team must draw upon the intellectual strength and competitive spirit of the Cal student community.

However, rising tuition fees threaten Cal Debate’s ability to attract the best and brightest students. Highly talented debaters without the means to pay UC Berkeley tuition are looking to other universities—ones that can offer them scholarship assistance. We believe that the new Cal Debate Scholarship will provide the necessary leverage to convince skilled high school debaters with financial need to come to Cal and compete for a national championship. As a program, we firmly believe that academic debate is not just a pastime for the elite, but essential training for an informed citizenry. This scholarship will enable us to train more students, including young people who might otherwise be unable to afford to attend a university like Berkeley.

 

Give to Debate


For more information:
Mark Lachman
Senior Development Officer
Campaign for Lower Sproul and Student Life
2087 Addison Street, 2nd Floor
Berkeley, CA 94720-5170
510.643.6309

mlachman@berkeley.edu

 

How You Can Help

We’re asking our alumni and friends interested in debate to support a new scholarship to help the Cal Debate Team continue to be one of the top debate teams in the country. With a total fundraising goal of $250,000, this endowment is estimated to provide a minimum of $12,500 a year which will fully cover one year’s tuition. Depending upon a student’s financial need, this can support one or more students throughout their debating career at Cal.

Total Fundraising Need: $250,000

 

Give to Debate


For more information:
Mark Lachman
Senior Development Officer
Campaign for Lower Sproul and Student Life
2087 Addison Street, 2nd Floor
Berkeley, CA 94720-5170
510.643.6309

mlachman@berkeley.edu