Nation and World

JMU Debate Team Captures Madison Cup

by Mary Evans

Madison Cup Winners

SUMMARY: JMU Debate won the the 17th annual Madison Cup on Monday, April 17 at James Madison University.

After more than a decade of strong showings and narrowly missed wins, JMU Debate won the the 17th annual Madison Cup on Monday, April 17 at James Madison University. JMU students Nick Lepp and Cecilia Cerja (pictured above) represented the university, debating passionately the topic of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the United States and capturing the cup for the first time since 2003. 

Madison Cup
The Madison Cup will return home for the first time in 15 years.

The Madison Cup, also known as the James Madison Commemorative Debate and Citizens Forum, began in 2001 on the commemoration of James Madison’s birth to honor Madison’s belief that public debate is paramount to healthy democracy. Since 2001 the Madison Cup event has grown immensely with schools from across the nation participating, including Yale, Harvard, Cornell, John Hopkins, William and Mary and others.

“Our goal for this debate, and really all of the debates, is to provide a model to our community for what civic discourse can look like,” said director of debate Mike Davis. “Too often in society today what passes for debate includes name calling or yelling and lacks the research necessary to make an informed decision. We hope to show through our model of public debate that just because you disagree about the world you live in you don’t have to hate the other person.”

Not only did the debate team bring the Madison Cup home, but they won cash prizes including $5,000 for the debate team and $2,000 per student who won. The Madison Cup is funded by the Arthur N. Rupe Foundation, which generously funds $30,000 of cash prizes for debate teams and individual competitors.

Recognized as a Top Public Debate Team in the country for the past eight of 11 years, the team hosts public events throughout the year on campus to encourage civil discourse as well as competing in the Madison Cup. To learn more about the debate team, click here.

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Published: Thursday, April 20, 2017

Last Updated: Friday, May 20, 2022

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