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Wednesday, July 17, 2019
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Debate Stars Return to Campus

Joe Boren '69 and Peter Meade '70 (both in back row) returned to the Emerson College campus to deliver words of wisdom to student debaters. Heather May (rear, left) is director of Emerson's debate team. Photos by Nick Eaton '17

Two Emerson College alumni returned to campus October 30 to team-teach a master class on debate.

Peter Meade ’70, who is a former chair of Emerson’s Board of Trustees, and Joe Boren ’69, a former Emerson Trustee and current chair of Ironshore Environmental, came to Emerson to impart some forensics wisdom to student debaters.

Boren and Meade “were part of an unbeatable debate team in the late 1960s,” said Barbara Rutberg, associate vice president of Development and Alumni Relations. “Their reputation reached across the country.”

Meade and Boren both credited their College forensics experiences with teaching them to “think critically, organize their thoughts, and have confidence in how you think.”

Heather May, senior lecturer in Communication Studies who is the director of Emerson’s debate team, said, “The majority of the students on the team this year are new and currently learning the ropes of Lincoln–Douglas-style debate. This year’s resolution has to do with U.S. regulation of bioprospecting. Regardless of the highly scientific topic, the point is to teach the students about argumentation, public speaking, and critical thinking.” A number of students are preparing for their first tournament, to be held November 14.

After teaching the class and having lunch with students and faculty, Boren met Lu Ann Reeb, senior executive-in-residence in the Marketing Communication Department, to learn about Emerson’s business curriculum, including the E3 Program and the Accelerator Program.