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Past Events

Recognizing the value of high school debate in preparing tomorrow's leaders, the Stennis Center in 1995 initiated the John C. Stennis Novice Speech and Debate Tournament at Mississippi State University. The unique feature of the competition is that its focus is on high school students who are just beginning to compete in speech and debate. "With a level playing field, the participants are able to build confidence and hone their speaking skills before competing against more experienced students," said Rex Buffington, executive director of the Stennis Center.

The John C. Stennis Novice Speech and Debate Tournament was established in 1995 with the help of Mrs. Betty Whitlock, formerly of Clinton High School, and Montgomery Bell Academy's Billy Tate, former president of the National Forensic League. This tournament attracts students from Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee.

The tournament was held on September 12-13, 2014 on the campus of Mississippi State University.

Register on-line at:
For more information, call the Stennis Center for Public Service at (662)325-8409 or
email Scott Waldrop of Hattiesburg High School at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .