Rutgers University-Newark Debate Team is Awarded First-Round At-Large Bid to the 2016 National Debate Tournament


The extraordinary success of Nicole Nave and Devane Murphy over the course of the regular 2015-2016 debate season has earned the team national recognition with the awarding of a First Round-At-Large qualification bid to the National Debate Tournament (NDT).  Only the top 16 teams in the nation receive first-round qualifications to the NDT, the oldest most exclusive debate event in higher education.This year marks the 70th anniversary of the NDT, which will be hosted at Binghamton University in upstate New York, March 31 to April 4, 2016.

Nicole and Devane are in good company as teams from Harvard, Emory, Georgetown, UC Berkeley, Northwestern, Michigan, University of Vermont, Kentucky, West George, Wake Forest, Michigan State, and Liberty University also received first-round qualifications to the 2016 NDT.

Only 76 teams out of hundreds get invited to the NDT each year, and qualifying at all is a major accomplishment. To receive a first-round at-large qualification is exceptional for the RU-N Debate Team, as many debate programs never receive one. The Rutgers University-Newark Debate Team has captured two first-round qualifications in the past three years, demonstrating that it competes at the highest levels of debate excellence.

This first-round invitation not only symbolizes the tradition of successful debate at Rutgers University-Newark, but also to debate programs across the city. Nicole and Devane, in their limited free time, are star coaches of Newark Public School’s high school debate programs, helping to educate and train the next generation of elite Newark debaters.

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