UO hosts debate tourney named after former forensics director

In the midst of a successful season, the University of Oregon forensics team will be hosting the first speech and debate tournament held on the UO campus in 10 years: the David Frank Tournament of Scholars, named after the former UO forensics director.

Over 200 competitors from across the country are expected to enter the tournament, which will be held Feb. 27 to March 1. Trond Jacobsen, the current UO forensics director, decided to name the tournament after Frank to honor him.

“It didn’t occur to me to name the event after anyone else, and every alum I’ve spoken to has agreed,” Jacobsen said.

Frank founded of the Northwest Forensics Conference and was the founding dean of the UO’s Robert D. Clark Honors College. His tenure as director of forensics lasted from 1981 to 2013.

“It’s pretty clear that Dr. Frank is the most important figure in UO forensics history,” Jacobsen said.

The forensics team itself has put up an impressive record this year. The team was mainly composed of seniors last year, and there were questions about how well the team would fare without them. But they’ve had  success, winning multiple tournaments.

“I’d knew we’d be good, but I was very pleasantly surprised with how we’ve done,” Jocobsen said.

In addition to the tournament, a forensics alumni dinner has been set for Feb. 28. Over 70 alums from around the country are expected to attend, though there are hopes that over 100 will be present.

 “Every generation of competitor has a representative at this dinner,” Jacobsen said. “Most alumni describe their time in forensics as important and transformative, speaking to how it changed the course of their lives.”

—By Nathan Stevens, Public Affairs Communications intern