Transylvania University’s Forensics team is a comprehensive competitor. 

We are active in parliamentary debate, both with the National Parliamentary Debate Association (NPDA) and International Public Debate Association (IPDA). While the team has historically been more focused in NPDA, shifting foci in the state and region have moved increasingly toward IPDA. Our students have recently achieved multiple top 10 IPDA performances at Pi Kappa Delta Nationals — including a national champion, a national top speaker, a second place finish, and two third place finishes. 

We also participate in all National Forensics Association (NFA) and American Forensics (AFA) individual events. These include:

  • Oral interpretation of literature (prose, poetry, dramatic interpretation, programmed oral interpretation, duo interpretation)
  • Platform speaking events (persuasive, informative, after-dinner, communication analysis)
  • Limited preparation speaking events (impromptu, extemp, radio broadcasting/broadcast journalism, editorial impromptu) 


Gary Deaton, Instructor in Writing, Rhetoric, and Communication; Director of Forensics

(859) 233-8201

Transylvania University
300 North Broadway
Lexington, KY 40508 USA

Third & Broadway Magazine for Fall/Winter 2017
Learn more about the team’s recent successes in Third and Broadway Magazine

The team has also participated in special events, including impromptu storytelling, impromptu eulogizing and impromptu counseling. 

The team’s primary national affiliation is with Pi Kappa Delta, the national forensics honorary. In the early 1990s, Transylvania helped found the National Educational Debate Association (NEDA) and hosted many of its workshops and tournaments.

In addition to extensive IPDA debate success, the team and its members have also won multiple awards from NPDA and in individual events at the Pi Kappa Delta Nationals.  Highlights include:

  • Three Pi Kappa Delta All-Americans (Marshall Jolly, Katrina Mineo and Taylor Deaton)
  • Six All-American Finalists (Raven Mineo, Brian Powell, Rebecca Radcliffe, Donovan Finan, Kaitlynne Wilkerson and Allison Wilkerson)
  • Two IPDA National Champion wins (both by Riley Bresnahan)
  • 21 Kentucky Forensics Association Harlan Hamm Award winners (top recognition given to Kentucky forensics competitors)

While Transylvania’s team is typically able to attend one national tournament each year, team members have also achieved success at Novice Nationals, Delta Sigma Rho-Tau Kappa Alpha Nationals, and NFA Nationals over the years.