Member Login
Select Page

Play full video ยป

National Speech & Debate Association Centennial Logo

June 2024 – June 2025

100 Years of Speech & Debate

National Speech and Debate Centennial

100 Years of Commitment



    Bruno E. Jacob, of Ripon College in Wisconsin, founds the National Forensic League (now National Speech & Debate Association) to motivate high school students to participate in speech and debate activities.



    The first National Tournament is held at Ripon College, with 49 schools from 17 states in attendance.



    The Great Depression doesn’t hinder growth: school membership reaches 400 chapters and CBS radio carries the championship debate.

Bruno E. Jacob
Bruno E. Jacob




Group of people standing together looking at the camera

Advocate for Speech and Debate

The National Speech & Debate Association has empowered more than two million students through speech and debate since 1925 because we believe a speech and debate program in every school creates a better civil society.

As our centennial approaches in 2025, we reaffirm our commitment to The Next 100 years of speech and debate and ask you to help us reach 10,000 programs by 2125.

Group of students posing at the National Tournament for a photo opportunity

Host a Satellite Celebration!

Let’s celebrate educators and coaches, inspire students, and commemorate this life-changing activity all year long!

Check out the satellite celebration toolkit and sign up to host an event in your area.

Two students posing with prickles the NSDA plush for Nationals 23

Build Your Alumni Community

The centennial celebration is the ideal talking point to reconnect with your alumni, find out what they have been up to, and ask them to subscribe to our email list.

Anyone who participated in speech and/or debate in middle school, high school, or college and has either graduated high school or is a current high school senior can join the NSDA alumni community!