by Taylor Bryant

Faculty, staff, students, and community members convened on Saturday, April 11, at the Townsend Center for the Performing Arts to celebrate the 80th anniversary of UWG intercollegiate debate. The event, hosted by the University of West Georgia debate team, was an exhibition debate of UWG alumni debaters versus current UWG debaters on the topic, “Resolved: The United States should legalize marijuana.”

James Thomas and Cary Ichter
Left to right: James Thomas and Cary Ichter

“We were thrilled to have such distinguished alumni return to participate in the debate,” said Dr. Michael Hester, UWG dean of the Honors College and director of UWG Debate. “Cary and James are great examples of the wonderful contributions our debate alumni are making in the world.”

Each debater was given time for questioning the opposing debater, followed by a rebuttal. By round of applause, spectators voted in favor of Cary and James as the winning team at the conclusion of the debate.

“I really appreciated UWG Debate for allowing me to participate in the alumni debate,” said Cary. “I had a blast. I have not debated since 1981, and it probably showed, but it was fun to knock off some of the rust and kick up some rhetorical dust.”

Cary, an attorney for Ichter, Kresky & Associates of Atlanta, has been a longtime supporter of UWG Debate, most recently endowing a presidential scholarship for debaters.

“I’m extremely grateful to be a part of the UWG Debate family,” added James, an attorney for the Law Office of the Public Defender in Decatur, Georgia. “My formative years in Carrollton gave me opportunities and experiences that have been instrumental in preparing me for my time in graduate school and my current career as an attorney. If I had a chance to make a different decision about where to go to college or what to do while I was there, I wouldn't change a single thing. It was great seeing folks from UWG debate teams past, present, and future at the alumni weekend, and I look forward to staying involved for years to come.”

Following the event, alumni debaters gathered in the Ingram Library for a special reception honoring their contributions to UWG with a display of debate archive photos, articles, and trophies in the Special Collections Research Room.

For more information on how to support or donate to the debate team, contact Dr. Michael Hester at 770-362-9435.

Posted on April 27, 2015