"Now More Than Ever"

— Dr. Marilyn J. Young, Wayne C. Minnick Professor Emerita, Florida State University

In an age of "alternate facts" and social media driven confirmation bias, students need the skills acquired through participation in intercollegiate debate now more than ever. Over the more than 40 years of her debate experience, Dr. Marilyn J. Young has created a long lasting legacy for hundreds of students and colleagues.  Now, at her behest, and in her honor, we are working to share that legacy.

The Intercollegiate Debate program has been a part of the Florida State University experience for over 120 years, and its rich history of competitive success and academic achievement continues to this day.  Given the funding realities of the 21st century, to secure the future of Florida State Debate, it is crucial to move beyond inconsistent short-term annual funding and provide long-term financial backing for the program.  Established in 2014, the Marilyn J. Young Debate Endowment will generate enough interest income to ensure that the opportunity to debate is available for students into perpetuity.  Consider contributing to the Young Endowment to ensure the existence of the program for future generations. Donate directly online or print out our donation form and mail it along with your check. You can also find out if your company is one of thousands that will match your donation.

Phase 1: Endowment of the Program Director
2014 - 2018

The first phase of the campaign will secure an endowed position for the Marilyn J. Young Director of Debate. The Florida State University Debate Program requires the continuity and stability that only a permanent Director/coach can provide. At present, the program relies upon graduate assistant students as coaches without any faculty member with ties to debate. This discontinuity presents the greatest risk to the program’s long-term survival and makes endowing the Director of Debate position our initial priority.  Establishing a permanent Director of Debate position will ensure that there is always a stable faculty level educator advocate for debate at Florida State University. A consistent faculty presence is vital to the long-term future of the program by providing a voice and vision for the value of competitive debate in the modern world. When we reach this intermediate goal, the endowment will generate $40,000 per year in usable funds – enough to subsidize a faculty position.

Phase 2: Endowment of the Debate Budget

2018 - 2023

Once the first goal is met, the second phase will emphasize endowing the programmatic elements of debate at Florida State, such as competition travel, graduate assistants, and scholarships. To ensure the success of students in the program, it is important that funds are secured to support competition travel costs, and provide assistantships to one or more graduate students who will assist the faculty coach, as well as funds for undergraduate debate scholarship support.

For more information about the Marilyn J. Young Debate Endowment at Florida State University, contact

Mafe Brooks, Director of Development
Email or call 850.645.8312