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The Ronald Reagan Great Communicator Debate scholarships

posted May 29, 2012, 8:15 AM by Larissa Little


The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation's Walter and Leonore Annenberg Presidential Learning Center is proud to announce The Ronald Reagan Great Communicator Debate Series, which will award $35,000 in scholarship funds to outstanding high school debate students across the nation. The Ronald Reagan Great Communicator Debate Series is designed to provide an avenue for high school students across the country to develop their civic knowledge, skills, and dispositions as they research, discuss, and engage in public debate. Rather than follow the traditional school year, this program is designed to align with and leverage the energy of Election 2012.

The competition will consist of three distinct rounds. First, local debates will take place on high school campuses nationwide between June and September of 2012. School champions will advance to regional championships held in September and October of 2012. Regional championships will be held at university campuses including: University of Southern California, University of Notre Dame, University of Georgia, University of Texas, Boston College, and George Mason University. Regional champions will then be flown to the National Championship at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on October 27, 2012 and compete for $35,000 in scholarship awards.

"President Reagan was known as the 'Great Communicator' and as a great debater," said John Heubusch, executive director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. "It is our mission at the Reagan Foundation to help teach and promote these skills to students -- our nation's future leaders."

For the debate series, the Walter and Leonore Annenberg Presidential Learning Center has partnered with the USC Trojan Debate Squad, the National Forensic League, and the National Association for Urban Debate Leagues. 
"President Ronald Reagan's legacy reminds us that outstanding leadership requires effective communication," said J. Scott Wunn, executive director of the National Forensic League. "The Great Communicator Debate Series will allow our future leaders from all over the United States to showcase their abilities in formulating thoughts and opinions in a meaningful and constructive way. No single activity enhances critical thinking, argumentation, research, and communication skills more than debate."

The Ronald Reagan Great Communicator Debate Series is designed to align with the final debates of the 2012 presidential election, promote civic engagement, highlight the legacy of President Reagan as both "The Great Communicator" and a legendary presidential debater, and provide a showcase for many of the nation's most promising high school communicators. The program is sponsored by The Chapman Hanson Foundation and The S. Robert and Denise Zeilstra Foundation.

For complete information on the series, links to resources, and to register your school for the series,  

“We've always had a love affair with learning in this country. America is a melting pot, and education has been a mainspring for our democracy and freedom, a means of providing gifts of knowledge and opportunity to all citizens, no matter how humble their background, so they could climb higher, help build the American dream, and leave a better life for those who follow.” ~Ronald Reagan