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Goodyear-Wade Debates

This initiative honors the long and storied history of debating societies at Emory.  In the 1920s Phi Gamma and Few literary societies were led by Speech and Theology Professor Nolan A. Goodyear.  His dedication to debate as a form of civil engagement and unwavering belief in its transformative power set a standard that can be seen in the work of Emory’s current Executive Director of Forensics, Melissa Maxcy Wade.    

The Goodyear-Wade Debates is a collaborative effort between the Barkley Forum and Eagles Speak, a student organization dedicated to the promotion of civic engagement on Emory’s campus, to facilitate public debates on relevant political and cultural issues. International students are particularly targeted for active participation as a means of cross-cultural communication.

Unlike traditional debates, audience members actively participate in determining the topic and debating the issues. The role of official moderators ensures an equal amount of speaking time’s being allocated to both sides of the issue.  Learning to examine all sides of an issue is a skill needed for solving the problems of the 21st Century.