FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 14, 2012
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications (304) 696-7153
National Forensic Tournament coming to Huntington next spring
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – An estimated 900 to 1,200 students and coaches from around the country will be in Huntington for the five-day NFA (National Forensic Association) Tournament April 18-22, said Dr. David J. Pittenger, dean of MU’s College of Liberal Arts.
“This is quite a feather in the cap for the college and the university,” Pittenger said. “Clearly, the event will have a notable economic impact on the city and will allow Marshall University to display its charm, hospitality and innovative academic programs.”
Marshall got the nod to serve as host of the tournament for a number of reasons, Pittenger said.
“It’s a competitive process,” he said, “and we earned the honor. We’d hosted tournaments in the past so we know how it’s done. And, we’re in a relatively good-sized metropolitan area so we’re able to handle a large number of teams and competitors. Also, we’ve been very successful recently in speech and debate. We’re very proud of this accomplishment.”
Danny Ray, who coaches the Thundering Word, Marshall’s speech and debate team, said about 40 states will be represented.
“It’s big. Our entire campus will be used,” Ray said. “More than 100 schools from all over will participate. It’s national exposure for Marshall, plus it will bring in about $2 million to the community and university.”
Ray said Marshall served as host of the tournament in 1985 and 1991. He said there are other national tournaments, but this one “is the one that is most important to most schools.”
The Thundering Word will compete in the national tournament. Each school normally brings several judges, but using two judges per round means the host school (Marshall) likely will have to provide 40 to 50 judges to cover shortages.