National Speech Tournament Held at George Mason in 2001

Posted: November 10, 1999 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

George Mason University has been chosen as the site for the American Forensics Association (AFA) National Speech Tournament in 2001. The announcement was made last week in Chicago during the AFA’s annual meeting. Jim Kimble, director of forensics, was present at the executive committee meeting to help finalize arrangements for the university’s successful bid. “It’s a great coup for George Mason and for Fairfax County in general,” he says.

The national speech tournament will bring nearly 800 competitors, coaches, and judges to the Fairfax Campus. The reaction was positive from the George Mason Forensics Team, which represents the university at speech tournaments nationwide. “Hosting the national tournament is a real recognition of the continuing status of our program as one of the best in the nation,” says Chris Tittel, assistant director of forensics.

The other finalist in the bid for 2001 was Bradley University of Peoria, Ill., a program that many consider the best in the nation. According to Kimble, “Bradley certainly is a formidable team on the speech circuit. Much like George Mason, it has a tradition that goes back more than 20 years.” Choosing between two of the country’s most prestigious programs for the same national tournament was probably tough for the committee, Kimble says. “Happily, George Mason came out on top.”

The George Mason forensics team has been part of the university for 28 years and has finished in the nation’s top 10 for 25 of those years. For the past two years, a George Mason student has won the title of best speaker in the nation. “It makes me really proud to have that trophy in our team room with ‘GMU’ engraved all over it,” says Marianne Palmisano, team captain.

For more information about the 2001 tournament, contact Jim Kimble at x34119.

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