Honorary Awards

Julia Burke Award

The Julia Burke Flame for Character & Excellence in National High-School Policy Debate

Since the Tournament of Champions held at the University of Kentucky on May 6–8, 2000, this award has been presented each year to a high-school Policy debater who achieves competitive excellence on the national circuit and demonstrates goodness of heart, despite the pressures of competition at the highest level. It encompasses both a perpetual and an individual trophy, a $2000 college scholarship, and a $2000 contribution to a charity of the recipient’s choice.

To nominate a high-school Policy debater for the Julia Burke Award, please click here.

Kay Rollins Award

Kay Rollins qualified to the Tournament of Champions for the very first time in 2017, when she was an eighth-grade student at The Potomac School in McLean, Virginia. Against the odds, she was the youngest competitor to advance to elimination rounds in Extemporaneous Speaking, making it all the way to semifinals. She placed ninth the following year.

At the 2019 Tournament of Champions, Kay took first place in Extemporaneous Speaking, further solidifying her trailblazer status. The next season, she not only successfully defended her title, but also won yet another event—becoming the 2020 TOC champion in both Extemporaneous Speaking and Original Oratory.

In her final year of high-school competition before entering Harvard College, Kay once again took the top prize in Extemporaneous Speaking at the 2021 Tournament of Champions, for the third consecutive season.

To honor her groundbreaking achievements in the 50-year history of the TOC, the first-place trophy in Extemporaneous Speaking is hereby named the Kay Rollins Award.