Thursday, March 29, 2012

Celebrating Speech and Debate

David Maile '10

In 2006, I traveled from my home in Honolulu, Hawaii to attend Pacific University. One of the largest attractions for me was the Pacific Speech and Debate Team. Coming into the mix as a freshman was seamless and after six years, I’m still mulling around with the team as the Assistant Director of Forensics. It is safe to say that a tradition of excellence, pride and success remains a persistent set of values that the team represents. This vignette is about the direction of the Boxer speech and debate program and the amazing individuals that drive it.

Dan Broyles, the Director of Forensics for the team, does it all in manufacturing a phenomenal trajectory for our students. A native of Illinois, Dan brought his talents to Forest Grove in 2008, after the departure of former Director Sam Mathies. An alumnus and graduate assistant coach of the renowned Illinois State University, Dan perpetuates an open door policy to students he coaches and teaches which grounds the team in a very special situation. 

After all, what isn’t special about teaching and coaching students to speak well and with confidence? Simply put, nothing. Especially when it takes them to the cities like Berlin, Budapest and Rome for competition.

That brings me to the students, those tremendous “kids,” as I affectionately call them at times. The students who compete on the speech and debate team are why Dan and I entered this field. Seeing a competitor have a moment of enlightenment, build confidence, conquer fears or overcome competitive adversity is transformative. What sets our activity a part from others is the complete immersion into a student’s life, and the close impact public speaking can foster. A special group of these students truly represent all that I praise.

It has been an honor to work with the seniors that will be graduating this academic year: Lilly Huynh, Lindsey McLaughlin, Gustavo Morales, and Ryan Terao. All of who built an undying passion for the craft of rhetoric and argumentation and will forever be remembered in the tradition they invested in this program. I want to dedicate this vignette to Dan and the students of our team. Without them, our tradition would not sustain. Without them, we would not be a close community and family. But with them, anything and everything are possible. 

Maile '10 is pictured in the above photo on the left. He continued his education at University of Portland and earned a masters in science degree in communications studies with a concentration on management communications. While attending Pacific, David was also involved with Track and Field, Student Giving Committee, Hawai'i Club and Phi Eta Sigma (Honor Society).

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