SC Debaters are Champions of the Winston Churchill

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

In 1946, the president of Westminster College sent an invitation to Winston Churchill via Harry Truman, asking him to make an appearance in Fulton, MO. Churchill not only accepted the invitation, but travelling by train along with President Harry Truman, he rode a train across the United States to reach the College. It was at that time and at that location that Churchill delivered perhaps his greatest oration, the "Iron Curtain" speech. The SC Debate team recreated the same trek, albeit by automobile, in accepting an invitation to appear and compete in a debate tournament to honor the legacy of Winston Churchill and his historic address 64 years ago.

Sterling College was one of five schools selected to compete at this tournament. Webster University, Illinois State University, John Brown University and Arkansas State University were also involved in the tournament. The Sterling College team of Jason Phillips of Fort Scott, Kan., Fay Carey of Sterling, Kan., Emily Graham of Hutchinson, Kan., and David Bowers of Hutchinson, Kan., emerged from the preliminary rounds of competition undefeated, setting up a final round against Arkansas State University. The final round centered on the resolution of "Whether the United States should withdraw from Afghanistan?" In the end the seniors from Sterling were no match for Arkansas State, with SC winning the overall title of Champion of the 2nd Annual Winston Churchill Debates. Additionally, Graham was also named the top debater/speaker at the tournament, receiving an engraved pen and plaque to commemorate the experience.

The tournament was preceded by a tour of the Winston Churchill Museum, a campus tour which included eight sections of the Berlin Wall and the Church of St Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury (shipped from England brick by brick and reassembled in the US). Following the tournament, the awards ceremony was preceded by a formal banquet hosted by the president of Westminster College.