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Dear Principal,

I am writing to encourage your support of National Speech & Debate Association student honor cords for your high school graduation ceremony. As an organization sanctioned by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), our honorary society and programs have a documented history of respect and excellence in education. As this distinction indicates, we are committed to the highest pedagogical and ethical standards.

We are also the standards‐bearing organization for the discipline of speech communication education at the secondary level, which underscores the academic nature of our activity. Practitioners have compared students’ year long participation in speech and debate to the completion of a graduate‐level thesis. Not surprisingly, studies indicate that speech and debate students tend to attain higher grades and achieve more advanced degrees than their peers.

Finally, honor cords affirm students for their outstanding dedication to speech and debate education. Attaining membership in the National Speech & Debate Association requires sustained excellence in practice, competition, and service. Acknowledging the prodigious efforts of your students serves as a well‐deserved recognition of their accomplishments. For all of these reasons, I strongly encourage you to allow your school’s Association members to wear their hard‐earned honor cords at graduation. If you have any other concerns about this position, please feel free to contact my office.


J. Scott Wunn
Executive Director