Dr. JW Patterson Renaming

The University of Kentucky held its first-ever UK Debate Reunion on October 2123, 2023, bringing together graduates from the 1950s through the present day! The weekend-long event culminated in our announcement of the J.W. Patterson Tournament of Champions, named in honor of the TOC founder and 1971–2008 UK Debate Director.

Dr. J.W. Patterson conceived of the tournament, and its unique qualification process, as a forum for head-to-head competition among our nation’s top high-school debaters, evaluated by expert judges. Moreover, he aimed to support and expand regional participation, which ultimately gave rise to the national circuit we know today.

His singular vision, indomitable spirit, and lifelong service have helped shape the activity for over 50 years. We extend our deepest gratitude for Dr. Patterson's invaluable contributions to the Speech & Debate community, both in Kentucky and beyond!