Series are arranged chronologically and then alphabetically. Arranged into two series: Series 1, Debate Team, 1927-1983; Series 2, Annual High School Debate Tournament, 1934-1971.Brief histories of the Debate Program can be found in box 4 and of the high school debate tournament in box 10.
Scope and Contents
This collection consists of the history, correspondence, budget, tournaments, preliminary programs, and historical files of the Debate Team and the Weber State College Annual High School Debate Tournament (later renamed the Leland H. Monson High School Forensic Tournament).
Debating, also known as forensics or speech, has been around since the beginning of Weber Stake Academy. It is one of the oldest organizations at Weber State University. Before Weber became a junior college debate competitions were held between the schools in the northern part of Utah. The school became a junior college during the 1922-1923 school year, and a debating league was formed between the junior colleges of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS). The team has male and female teams, as well as individual competitors. The Debate Team did not always travel to the same competitions, sometimes only a few students would travel to different destinations to compete.
In the 1933-1934 school year Weber competed in its first national competition, taking second place. The same year saw the most competitions entered - 181. This was the first year of a co-ed partnership on the team - Spencer Jackson Klomp and Kathleen Foulger, who later got married. The Debate Team joined Phi Rho Pi, the National Forensic Organization in 1934. During the 1939-1940 school year Leland Monson was vice president of the National Phi Rho Pi, and brought the national tournament to Ogden for the first time. From 1942-1945 debating was curtailed because of the war and gas rationings. Most debates were held in state. One debater, Wayne Carver, got creative and recorded an oration and sent it for competition, winning second place. The team faced low participation and possible defunding in the 1970s. The Debate Team has been competitively successful, winning many debates at the local and national level. As of October 2013, there are over 20 members on the team.
John Q. Blaylock, a professor in History and Political Science, was the first Director of Debate. In the 1927-1928 school year, Weber began offering a debating class taught by Leland H. Monson. That year Weber won the Intermountain Junior College Debating League championship for the first time. In the 1928-1929 school year, Lelan Monson became the debate director, a position he would hold until 1965. Leland Monson took a leave of absense in 1935-1936, putting David Trevithick in charge of the Debate Team while he was gone. Monson took a leave of absence again in 1945-1946, with Thatcher Allred supervising during that time. Robert Mukai, a former debate member, was the director from 1965-1966, when he and two debate members were killed in a car accident on the way back from a debate in California. John Hebestreet was appointed Director of Debate in 1967. Randolph Scott became Director in 1977. David Berube was the Director from 1983-1986. Pierre Heidrich served as Director from 1986-1988. Michael "Bear" Bryant was the Director of Debate from 1988-2001. From 2001-2003, Eric Mueller was the Acting Director of Debate. Omar Guevera became Director of Forensics in 2003, and still holds that position as of October 2013.
The Debate Program started an annual high school debate tournament in 1934. This started out small, but it grew to become one of the largest high school debate tournaments in the country. The Weber State College Annual High School Debate Tournament was later renamed the Leland H. Monson High School Forensic Tournament. As of October 2013, the tournament is run under the name Utah High School Activities Association Speech and Debate Championship.
For more information on the history of the Debate Team, go here.
This Collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Debates and debating.
Debates and debating--Judging.
Conditions Governing Access:
The collection is open for research use.
Material was acquired from Leland H. Monson (1987-012).
[Item identification], Weber State University Debate Team records, 30-06-001, Weber State University Archives, Ogden, Utah.