Why should You choose Michigan Debate Institutes this summer?


Experienced Faculty

Students at the Michigan Debate Institutes are instructed by the nation's most accomplished and experienced workshop faculty. The faculty is comprised of national champion high school and college coaches and outstanding intercollegiate debaters. In the past decade the faculty members of our workshops have coached numerous college and high school national championship teams. Several of our faculty members are Emory University Barkley Forum Gold Key Coaches. Several have coached Tournament of Champions winners and NFL National Champions. The one attribute the members of this faculty share is a commitment to providing a constructive and stimulating educational environment for students of the Michigan Debate Institutes.

Vast Resources

Law Quad Technological innovation has revolutionized library and information systems, opening a whole new world of research possibilities for debaters. Students at the Michigan Debate Institutes have access to the vast and unparalleled resources of the University of Michigan, one of the national leaders in integrating computing technology with education and research. Students have extensive access to one of the nation's most comprehensive library collections and the nation's leading University-based personal computing system. As part of a joint effort between the Debate Institutes and the nationally recognized University of Michigan School of Information and Library Sciences, students at our workshops are taught basic and advanced debate research techniques, utilizing computer-based indices and databases, and the internet.

A Tradition of Diversity

As we begin the new millennium, the movers and shakers of our nation recognize the changing nature of our society. Traditional minorities are becoming more and more of the United States landscape. Educational venues, of course, lead the charge toward the promotion of diversity. A diverse landscape on campuses today represents the future workforce. Academic debate also recognizes the need for proactive measures to ensure that representation in an educational activity which empowers via critical thinking, research, and rhetorical skills is tantamount towards teaching our youth how to compete in society.

"The Michigan debate institutes have had a long standing commitment to promoting and celebrating diversity in debate. Since the inception of the first MNDI, they have made an effort to hire women and people color for both their residential and instructional staff. As a high school debater, I never attended a debate camp that had more than one or two women on the staff in any capacity. I believe that Michigan's commitment to diversity among the staff helps ensure that all students at the institute can be exposed to positive role models. The MNDI was also one of the first institutes to schedule institute-wide discussions concerning social issues: racial, gender, sexual-orientation, economic discrimination in debate. I had the pleasure of moderating the first one which focused on women's issues. This practice has now become commonplace not only at the Michigan camps, but at many other summer workshops as well. The Michigan institute administrators have shown a genuine concern for addressing the inevitable problems of peer harassment at the institutes. Last summer, students at the camp were informed of the zero-tolerance for harassment (sexual, racial, or other) policy up front. This pro-active stance not only helps to deter such conduct, but also encourages students to come forward with problems."

Sherry Hall, Debate Coach Harvard University and former faculty member at the Michigan Debate Institutes


Proven Record of Success

Since 1985 the Michigan Debate Institutes have offered a strong faculty, innovative curriculum design and the tremendous resources of the University of Michigan to thousands of students from all 50 states representing over one thousand high schools. Graduates of our workshops have experienced great competitive success. The Winners and Top Speakers of the last six Tournament of Champions are alums of the Michigan Debate Institutes.

"The time I spent last summer at the Michigan Debate Institute was one of the most absorbing summer activities that I have experienced. Unlike many other debate camps across the nation, Michigan is the only one that offers an environment where someone can enjoy the never-ending possibilities on the Ann Arbor campus while simultaneously learning from the most qualified staff in the nation. The skills I acquired in terms of research, speaking ability, and organization have maximized my potential in my senior year of high school. At Michigan, I met the most interesting and stimulating people in my life and at the same time, I found a new appreciation for the activity of debate."

Henry Liu, Former Michigan Debate Institutes Participant and Montgomery Bell Academy and Glenbrooks Round Robin Champion, currently an Associate at Covington & Burling LLP

"The time I spent at the Michigan Debate Institute before my junior year, in addition to being enjoyable, was perhaps my most educational debate experience. While I had researched, worked with qualified faculty, and debated in instructive practice rounds before I ever attended Michigan, the combination of the resources offered by the institute and the high level of instruction from the faculty make the Michigan Debate Institute a perfect environment for improving oneself in debate. I attended a seven week lab, led by Sherry Hall of Harvard University and Colin Kahl of the University of Michigan. I feel the most important effect of attending this extended lab was not found in the increased number of pages the lab put out but rather in the ability to use those pages in practical situations, the many practice rounds in which we engaged. These practice rounds prepared me for the various types of both affirmative and negative debates I would have on the topic. In addition, the prolonged exposure to the same instruction allowed the instructors to work with us individually and view our progression throughout the summer. It was this one-on-one instruction, especially in the practice debates, which I found most helpful in my Michigan experience."

Ben Thorpe, Former Michigan Debate Institutes Participant, Top Speaker at The Glenbrooks, St. Marks, and Greenhill, Currently a graduate student in Economics at Georgia State University


Of the 32 Americans chosen as Rhodes Scholars for the year 2000, three were former participants in Michigan Debate Institutes.