title

Archive 1980-89

 

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Summary of 1980 through 1989

 

An uphill battle

The subtitle of the 1982 yearbook, An Uphill Battle, reflected a university-wide problem of budget cuts, inflation, and unemployment. That year the Department of Speech and Theater cut nine faculty positions. The problem was not, however, merely local. The long national decline of the 1970s had sunk in, and forensics at WKU was not spared. Decades earlier, the Great Depression had shut out competitive speech and debate on The Hill for five years. The Reagan Recession did precisely the same.

 

 

Annual Subsections: 1980 – 1989

 

1979-80

Forensic Union

Known roster: Larry M. Caillouet (director), Melayna Brown (nee Brown, now Tinsley; grad asst), Tuwanda Coleman, Chad W. Ellis, Terry J. Gardner, Ken Ladd, Carla J. Patterson, and James Anthony Smith

At the NFA national tournament Tuwanda Coleman placed semifinalist in poetry interpretation, and Carla Patterson and Chad Ellis quarter-finaled in duo interpretation.1 The team placed 19th out of 139 schools.

[Link to 1980 Results Archive]

 

Banquet Awards

Debate: J. Anthony Smith; Individual Events: Terry John Gardner; Service: Carla Jean Patterson

 

Campus oratory

AAUW: Dana Gay Hooks; Ogden: Chad Wayne Ellis; SNEA: Cynthia Marie Mohr; Robinson: Byron Morgan

 

Extra photos (hover for caption, click to enlarge)

Fall 1979, MTSU: Melayna Brown (now Tinsley) and Ken Ladd

 

 

1980-81

Forensic Union

1981 Forensics Union
(back) Chris Allen, Michael R. Winters, Gary R. Dawson, David T. Goodwill, Sherman Coleman;
(middle) Mary A. Lindsey, Susan M. Loos, Chuck W. Riley, Lori A. Medley, Anita Hall;
(front) Robert L. Davenport, Tanya Robin Cornette, Marla A. Gary, Larry M. Caillouet (director);
(Not present) Cheryl Buntin (GA IEs), Alisa L. Clancy, Chad Ellis, Karla Groschelle, Mary Neagley (vol), and Melayna Nance (nee Brown, now Tinsley; GA debate).

Chad Ellis placed second in the nation at the Interstate Oratorical Association national tournament on 1-2 May.2

The team also hosted the National Forensic Association national tournament 23-27 April and placed 20th in Open Team Sweepstakes.3

[Link to 1981 Results Archive]

 

Banquet Awards

Debate: Mark Iverson; Individual Events: Chad Wayne Ellis; Service: Chad Wayne Ellis

Campus oratory

Ogden-AAUW: Chad Wayne Ellis; Robinson-SNEA: Michael Ralph Winters

The AAUW and SNEA oratorical contests merged into the Ogden and Robinson contests, finally ending the inherent gender segregation. This also marks the ninety-sixth anniversary of the Ogden and Robinson contests.

 

Extra photos (hover for caption, click to enlarge)

26 April 1981 (Park City Daily News) Alisa Clancy and Michael Winters practice for NFA nationals (hosted @ WKU) 26 April 1981 (Park City Daily News) Chad Ellis practices Informative for NFA nationals (hosted @ WKU) 26 April 1981 (Park City Daily News) Seth Hawkins, Larry Caillouet and Melayna Brown (now Tinsley) discuss scheduling for NFA nationals (hosted @ WKU) 26 April 1981 (Park City Daily News) Mary Neagley (g.a.) coaches Chad Ellis and Alisa Clancy during practice for NFA nationals (hosted @ WKU); Mick Winters (facing) looks on 26 April 1981 (Park City Daily News) Alysa Clancy practice for NFA nationals (hosted @ WKU)

 

 

1981-82

Forensic Union

1982 Forensics Union
(back) Cecilia Kohrs, David T. Goodwill, Melayna Nance (nee Brown, now Tinsley; debate director), Mark Iverson, Vicki King; (front) Robert L. Davenport, Alisa L. Clancy, Valerie Majors, Larry M. Caillouet (director), and Donna Clark; (not pictured) Archie Beck, Kim Hawkins, Margaret Ragan, Stephanie L. Ray, J.R. Wilson, and Michael R. Winters

 

1982 Members of Delta Sigma Rho/Tau Kappa Alpha
Delta Sigma Rho-Tau Kappa Alpha members: (front) David T. Goodwill and Mark Iverson; (back) Robert L. Davenport, Melayna Nance (nee Brown; debate director), Larry Caillouet (director)

[Link to 1982 Results Archive]

 

Banquet Awards

Debate: Tanya Robin Cornett; Individual Events: Alisa Leanne Clancy; Service: James Anthony Smith

Budget slashed

The team joined the Cross Examination Debate Association; and placed second at the Kentucky Forensic Association state tournament.4 The success, however, could not protect the team from budget cuts. The final $6000 of funding was removed from Forensics, but a new $1500 funding source, plus squirrelled tournament hosting money, kept the team running for another year.5

Stephanie Ray and Archie Beck performing duo interpretation
Stephanie Ray and Archie Beck performing duo interpretation.

Campus oratory

Ogden-AAUW: Marla Ann Gary; Robinson-SNEA: Alisa Leanne Clancy

 

 

1982-83

Forensic Union

1982-83, (front l-r) Robin Cornette, Teresa ?, Mike Winters, James Anthony Smith, and Melayna Brown (now Tinsley); (back l-r) Bobby Bright, Stephanie L. Ray, Mark Iverson, _____

Known roster: Melayna Nance (nee Brown, now Tinsley; director), Bobby Bright, T. Robin Cornett, Neva B. Gielow, Mark Iverson, Stephanie Ray, James Anthony Smith, and Michael R. Winters6.

Melayna Nance (nee Brown, now Tinsley) took over as sponsor of forensics, after Caillouet, and, despite a dearth of administrative support, the team competed in ten tournaments, hosted four tournaments (three collegiate and one high school) as well as a coaches’ clinic. Nine students qualified for the national tournament, but the lack of follow-up results suggests funds could not be found to send them.7 Director Nance spent the year as a part-time faculty, but the strain on time and resources proved untenable.8 When she left for a full time position elsewhere, the team was dissolved.

Banquet Awards

Debate: Tanya Robin Cornett and James Anthony Smith; Individual Events: Michael Ralph Winters; Service: James Anthony Smith

Campus oratory

Ogden: Michael Ralph Winters; Robinson: Robert Hill Jenkins

 

Extra photos (hover for caption, click to enlarge)

1983 - Stephanie Ray performing 1982-83, (front l-r) Teresa Smith, ________, Melayna Brown (now Tinsley), Robin Cornette, and Michael Winters; (back l-r) Anthony Smith, _______, and Mark Iverson (with Gavel) 1982-83, Mark Iverson

 

 

1983-84 to 1987

For this period, only the Ogden and Robinson oratorical competitions continue. Another set of awards, presented by the Department of Speech and Theater, is also begun here. it is included in this archive because within a few years, they would be provided instead by the newly instated forensic team.

 

 

1984 Campus oratory

Ogden-AAUW: Alisa Leanne Clancy; Robinson: Elizabeth Bernice Compton

 

 

1985 Campus oratory

Ogden-AAUW: Laura Lea McClellan; Robinson: Felicia K. Bland

 

 

1986 Campus oratory

Ogden-AAUW:: Jonathan W. Sears; Robinson: (not awarded)

1986 – Banquet awards

Patrick H. Vincent: Christa Marie Nass

 

 

1987 Campus oratory

Ogden-AAUW: Abigail Baker; Robinson: Tammi Jo Driver

1987 – Banquet awards

Patrick H. Vincent: Abigail Baker

 

 

1987-88

William E. Bivin Forensic Society

Roster: Judith Hoover (director), Curtis Butler, Jim Gaines, Sean Gallagher, Angela Gordon, Holly J. Morris (Baldwin), Andrea Nowling, David Junior Price, Cynthia Probus, Sandra Schneider, Davis Scifres, and Jeremy Whipple

Some at Western were intent to return to competitive debate, chief among them the Department Head of Communication and Broadcasting–and former debate coach–Dr. Randall Capps. This began with a small donation. Former Western debater and university attorney William E. Bivin bequeathed in his will $1000 to the university for the purpose of supporting competitive debate, which was combined with new-found funding indicative of the close of the 1980s recession. The minutes of the Board of Regents for 2 December 1987 show President Kern Alexander’s reinstatement of a forensic team at Western.13 Eight days later new full-time faculty member Dr. Judith Hoover hosted the first team meeting at 3:20 PM in room 137 of the Ivan Wilson Fine Arts Center.14 The intent was to find a permanent coach at a later date.

The new team’s first contest was at Morehead State University in January, and the team consisted of almost all freshmen.15

Banquet awards

Patrick H. Vincent: David Junior Price; Capps: Richard E. Bondurant

 

Campus oratory

Ogden: (not awarded); Robinson: Teresa Summers

 

 

1988-89

William E. Bivin Forensic Society

Known roster: Judith Hoover (director), Judy Woodring (assistant coach), Travis L. Holtrey, Holly J. Morris (Baldwin), and David Junior Price

Kentucky High School Speech League’s removal in late June 1988 from the University of Kentucky–its home since its 1920 inception–to WKU may well have been a primary cause of the team’s growth in the next decade.16 Dr. Randall Capps then hired Judy Woodring–his own former debate student from 1966 to 1968–to direct KHSSL. He then asked Judy to volunteer the remainder of her time to help Dr. Hoover with the team until, again, a permanent coach could be found.

We also know that debate alumnus Charles English played a significant role in–at least–motivating debaters.17

 

Banquet awards

Patrick H. Vincent: David Junior Price; Capps: Richard E. Bondurant

 

Campus oratory

Ogden: Debra Koostra; Robinson: Lori Renee Lyle

 

 


 

1. “National Tournament Results.” National Forensic Association. Last Accessed 25 Oct 2015. URL: http://www.nationalforensics.org/national-tournament-results#1980; “Western Students Win Honors at National Individual Events Speech Tourney.” News from Western. 12 May 1980.

2. Interstate Oratorical Association. Winning Orations of the Interstate Oratorical Association 1981. Mankato MN: Mankato State U, 1981.

3. “National Tournament Results.” National Forensic Association. Last Accessed 25 Oct 2015. URL: http://www.nationalforensics.org/national-tournament-results#1981

4. WKU Student Affairs, “UA12/2/1 College Heights Herald, Vol. 57, No. 57” (1982). WKU Archives Records. Paper 2466. http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/2466

5. WKU Student Affairs, “UA12/2/1 College Heights Herald, Vol. 58, No. 34” (1983). WKU Archives Records. Paper 585. http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/585

6. Greg Robertson, e-mail message to author, November 23, 2015.

7. WKU Student Affairs, “UA12/2/1 College Heights Herald, Vol. 58, No. 34” (1983). WKU Archives Records. Paper 585. http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/585; 1983 Western Kentucky University Talisman, vol 60 (Dallas: Taylor Publishing, 1983), 209.

8. Personal interview with Melayna Brown-Tinsley 21 July 2016.

13. “Minutes of Meeting of Board of Regents, Western Kentucky University, December 2, 1987,” WKU Archives, URL: http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1678&context=bor.

14. A copy of the memorandum can be found at /wp-content/uploads/2017/07/88_restorationLetter.jpg; Hoover, Judith. “Memorandum To: Communication and Broadcasting Faculty; ‘Forensics Program.'” 7 December 1987.

15. Conway, Sheila, editor. “William E. Bivin Forensics Society is Active at WKU.” News from Western Kentucky University. 24 February 1988.

16. WKU had long been the seat of one of the league’s regional qualifier tournaments, Conway, Sheila, editor. “KY. High School Speech League Moves to WKU.” News from Western Kentucky University. 29 June 1988; The first KHSSL state tournaments at WKU on 21-22 and 28-29 April 1989, Eison, Sheila, editor. “WKU Seeks Judges for State Speech Competition.” News from Western Kentucky University. 14 February 1989.

17. 1989 Western Kentucky University Talisman, vol 66 (Clarksville, Tenn: Josten’s, 1989), 148.

 

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