History of Debate at UH

SDA's Rich History & Bright Future

The newly formed Speech, Debate and Advocacy program revives a longstanding tradition of debate at the University of Houston. Active intercollegiate competition began in 1949, and the team's history includes a number of highlights:

  • Participation at 22 National Debate Tournaments, the premiere collegiate competition;
  • Numerous prizes for Top Individual Speaker at the National Debate Tournament, including the first female to win ('57, Patricia Stallings);
  • Distinguished alumni who have gone on to become regional and national policymakers, including CEOs, judges on the Texas Supreme Court, political candidates, and partners at top law firms; and
  • Among the largest and most dynamic cities in the United States, Houston provides many opportunities for community engagement and serious consideration of complex public issues.

In 2014, UH's Forensics Society and The Honors College's Policy Debate team joined forces to create SDA. The new program will continue the debate success of both debate and individual events, while allowing students to participate in a variety of debate competitions and engage with the city of Houston's debate community.