Pi Kappa Delta
Pi Kappa Delta is the oldest national collegiate forensic organization in the United States. John A. Schields and Egbert R. Nichols founded the organization in 1911. Both were debaters, and felt the need to create an organization for colleges across the country to recognize orators and debaters. They created a Constitution and Bylaws with official rules and regulations and the Pi Kappa Delta honorary key soon thereafter. Today, the honor society consists of speech and debate educators, students, and alumni from across the country.
The name Pi Kappa Delta was chosen because it comprised the first letters of the Greek phrase Peitho Kale Dikaia, “The art of persuasion, beautiful and just.” The essential purpose of the organization was to bestow an honorary key on orators, debaters, and coaches. Through jewels, they showed the distinction of each member in terms of their order and degree.
Pi Kappa Delta is an honorary consisting of educators, students, and alumni that cultivates articulate citizenship through the promotion of ethical, humane, and inclusive communication and educational practices; supports comprehensive approaches to forensic pedagogy and practice; encourages the creation of professional development opportunities for forensic educators; and seeks to expand access to intercollegiate speech and debate activities. Pi Kappa Delta supports a broad diversity of speech and debate events, forms and formats, and works to nurture the institutional and financial capacity of the entire forensic community.
When Pi Kappa Delta’s mission has been fully realized, organized intercollegiate forensic programs will exist on nearly every college campus; students will have access to participation in a wide variety of speech and debate events and formats; speech and debate programs will be well-staffed and amply funded; teachers and scholars will have access to the resources necessary to maintain and advance forensic education; and scholarship and grant opportunities will be available to support individuals and programs in need. Those who have participated in programming sponsored by Pi Kappa Delta will value “the Art of Persuasion, Beautiful and Just,” and will be well-prepared to lead just lives of leadership and service in a global community.
Pi Kappa Delta is committed to assuring equal opportunity to all persons, regardless of race, color, religious creed, national origin, physical ability status, age, economic status, gender, sex or sexual orientation. Pi Kappa Delta is opposed to all forms of discrimination and seeks to encourage an atmosphere in which every individual is accorded respect. Mindful of the importance of First Amendment freedoms, Pi Kappa Delta reminds its members of their ethical obligations to audience members and encourages members to refrain from disrespectful or derogatory speech. As an organization dedicated to fostering the development of functional leadership skills, Pi Kappa Delta encourages the participation of individuals from traditionally under-represented groups. Pi Kappa Delta is an equal opportunity employer.
Speech and debate is vital for the development of oral and written communication skills—the very skills that employers consistently tell us they are looking for. Even more importantly, it fosters research, independent and critical thinking, and leadership—all qualities necessary for a more informed citizenship. In short, there are few educational activities that are as important as speech and debate.David Bailey
Over the years, more than 80,000 alumni have become members of PKD. Joining the organization will instantly put you in contact with thousands of speech and debate competitors across the country.
As a member, you have access to resources, regular newsletters with up-to-date information on the speech and debate community, the National Tournament, collegiate honor society, scholarships, internships, and much more! After joining with one of the forms below, make sure to sign up for an account.
High school students who were members of the National Speech & Debate Association receive free membership in Pi Kappa Delta. Additionally, those students may transfer 10% of their cumulative points from the NSDA to the Pi Kappa Delta honor society.
Pi Kappa Delta has been an amazing part of my life! PKD is a network of incredibly giving and dedicated people that I can’t believe I am lucky enough to be a member of.McKenzie Moss
PKD Nationals 2018
The 2018 Pi Kappa Delta National Comprehensive Tournament will be held March 14-17 at Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee. Download the tournament invitation and tentative schedule below for more information!
PKD at NCA 2017
We hope you’ll join us for the 103rd National Communication Association Convention in Dallas, Texas! Download our schedule for more information about the PKD National Professional Development Conference (November 15), PKD Business Meeting (November 16), PKD Social (November 17), and other sessions planned at NCA.
Theater of Public Policy (T2P2)
New Grant Supports Civic Dialogue
Thanks to a generous grant of nearly $100,000, The Charles Koch Institute has enabled The Theater of Public Policy (T2P2 for short) and Pi Kappa Delta to promote civic engagement and open debate on college campuses. If you are interested in bringing the Theater of Public Policy to your campus, download the grant application form for more information.
PKD at NCA 2016
Enhance your professional development by reviewing the recordings from the NCA pre-conference held November 9, 2016, at the 102nd National Communication Association Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
PKD Nationals 2017
The 2017 Pi Kappa Delta Convention and National Tournament was held March 21-25 at Boise State University in Idaho. Download the revised invitation here. Note: We have updated the final schedule (as of March 13) to reflect a few location changes, etc. You can also view interactive maps of the campus and nearby hotels.
Review the proposed constitutional changes that were voted upon at this year’s tournament and convention in Boise.
Please read the statements from our two candidates for the next President-Elect of PKD.
Interviewing at PKD 2017
We are pleased to, once again, see so many students interested in interviewing. A few things have changed in interviewing for 2017.
- No actual “position” that everyone is applying for. In previous years, we’ve published a job description as the “position” that everyone is applying for in the interviewing event. This year, we’ve elected not to do that in favor of having students answer questions (and tailor their resumes) to a general job for which they would ideally apply. There is NO job description for this event.
- No more interviewer vs. interviewee designations—all competitors are being interviewed by the judge. Judges will receive a list of 20 commonly-used interviewing questions and they will ask each person in their section the same 3-5 questions. Questions might include things like: “What are some of your strengths as a worker?” or “Describe for me a time you’ve had to deal with a conflict. How did you handle it?”
- Students should bring at least two copies of their resumes. They should have them available for judges in each of their first two rounds. Resumes will be copied and provided by the tournament for round three, which is the resume evaluation round.
Since competitors in the same section are all being asked the same questions, we’ll ask the other competitors to wait outside the room until it is their turn.
We still have the third round designated as the “resume round” so don’t forget to send your resumes to Dr. David Bailey at email@example.com no later than March 6, 2017.
PKD Nationals Bid Submission Process
PKD National Tournament and Convention Site Selection Bid Information
- Minimum of 105 competition rooms available.
- Two large rooms for tabulation.
- Large and centrally located space for ballot distribution and collection.
- Large and centrally located spaces for judge and student’s lounge, extemp prep, topic draw.
- Sufficient on-campus food service during the tournament (or within 3 blocks if not available).
- Evidence of success hosting large tournaments.
Campus and Administrative Support
- Letter of support from senior administrator (must be submitted with bid).
- Financial or in-kind support for hosting the tournament including access to computers, printers or photocopy machines for the purposes of tabulation, tab room office supplies, etc.
- Janitorial service, security and parking provided during the duration of the tournament without cost to PKD.
- For convention years, hosts are provided with $3,000 to help subsidize the costs of the opening reception, judge’s reception, and student party. PKD pays all costs associated with the Past President’s Dinner and with the tournament Banquet and Awards assembly.
- Host or province provides the equivalent of 20 full-time judges without cost to PKD. (Many of these volunteer judges can be lay-people who will be placed in events that prefer lay judges – this freeing judges in that pool for other assignments. In addition, many companies like Wells Fargo allow employees to volunteer to judge while being paid by the company. Please contact the National Council for recruiting advice.
- An additional 15-20 judges are available for hire by PKD during the tournament. All judges are hired directly by PKD and paid at rates negotiated by PKD. Please do not promise judges that they are “hired” without being explicitly hired by representatives of the National Council.
- Hotel facilities with the ability to host a 2000 person convention. This can be a single hotel, or a cluster of 2-3 hotels within a close proximity.
- Free hotel parking is strongly preferred. PKD frequently uses a room block of between 400 & 500 rooms. The hotel should also offer a comp-room rate of 1 per 40 room nights.
- Availability of double rooms (for up to 4 people) at between $100.00 $120.00 per night.
- The ability to secure a block of at least 400 rooms, with overflow availability if necessary.
- Moderately priced eating establishments within walking distance of the hotel.
- Willingness to accommodate National Council Summer Meeting or Site Visit at reduced room rate.
- Availability of free or inexpensive transportation to and from major airport.
Convention and Banquet Facilities (For National Convention Years)
- Banquet facilities sufficient to host a 1,000 person sit-down banquet.
- No banquet set-up costs, including a double-raised, audience facing head table with a microphone and podium in the center of the top row.
- Banquet charge of between $30 & $40.00 per person, including taxes and tip.
- Ability to host opening reception for 500-600 people.
- Cold storage ability to store approximately 1,000 daffodils.
- Availability of 10 meeting rooms, including a large space with seating for 500-750 people, and four smaller spaces with seating for between 100 & 150.
- Lockable space for PKD history displays.
- Large area available for tournament registration.
Additional Convention Year Host Items
- Professional (or highly qualified) photographer/videographer for tournament banquet and awards ceremony. (It would be ideal if candid shots could be collected during the tournament as well).
- Hosts are responsible for printing the Tournament Booklet (50-60 page 5 ½ x 8 ½ booklet. Cover on cardstock), but are welcome to sell advertising space within the program to recover costs. Hosts are also responsible for printing the tournament banquet program (with Auld Lang Syne printed on the back).
- Hosts are responsible for producing pendants for each chapter as well as for securing customized tournament pens for each participant. (Both items can be accomplished for approximately $500.00).
- Location of tournament in relatively close proximity to campus (no more than a 10 minute drive). In the event that this is not possible, free shuttle service with capacity to move 500-700 people between hotel and campus facilities.
- Availability of tours, sites and other local attractions.
Please feel free to contact us about submitting a tournament bid at firstname.lastname@example.org
PKD Nationals 2016
The 2016 Pi Kappa Delta National Tournament was held at the University of Kentucky, March 16-20. Click here for complete results.
Awards & Recognition
For decades, Pi Kappa Delta has recognized young people for participating in speech and debate. Every year, hundreds of awards are distributed to students and coaches for service and competition. To earn recognition in the collegiate honor society, students and coaches can enter points for participating in collegiate speech and debate activities. Undergraduates, alumni, and educators can all earn points toward Pi Kappa Delta degrees. Learn more about the traditional rituals practiced by collegiate PKD chapters.
PKD Hall of Fame
The Pi Kappa Delta Hall of Fame was established more than 25 years ago as the highest form of honor for PKD members. The permanent home for the Hall of Fame can be found at Ripon College in Ripon, WI, one of our founding chapters.
PKD Hall of Fame Members
Georgia Bowman – William Jewell
Theodore Karl – Pacific Lutheran
Roy Mahaffey – Linfield
E. R. Nichols – Redlands
Larry Norton – Bradley
John Shields – Ottawa
W. H. Veatch – Washington State
George Finley – Colorado State
D. J. Nabors – East Central State
Alfred Westfall – Colorado A & M
Roy Murphy – Southwestern Louisiana
Sylvester Touissaint – Colorado State
Charles Battin – Puget Sound
Fred Goodwin – Southeast Missouri State
George McCarty – South Dakota State
Forrest Rose – Southeast Missouri State
Raymond Yeager – Bowling Green
Harvey Cromwell – Mississippi College
George R. R. Pflaum – Emporia State
James Grissinger – Otterbein
Bruno Jacob – National Forensic League
Carolyn Keefe – West Chester
E. A. Vaughn – Kansas State
Grace Walsh – Wisconsin-Eau Clare
Harold Widvey – South Dakota State
Bob Derryberry – Southwest Baptist
Theodore Nelson – St. Olaf
Evan Ulrey – Harding
Glenn Capp – Baylor
John Randolph – Westminister
Tony Allison – Cameron
Gary Horn – Ferris State
R. David Ray – Arkansas-Monticello
Robert Littlefield – North Dakota State
Terry Cole – Appalachian State
Cunera van Emmerik – Central College
Bill Hill – North Carolina-Charlotte
Michael Bartanen – Pacific Lutheran University
Order of Attainment
More recently, the Order of Attainment was established in 2007 to honor the societal contributions of Pi Kappa Delta alumni. These contributions may be global, national, or local in scope and reflect the role of forensics and Pi Kappa Delta in building lifelong citizens.
Order of Attainment Members
Michael Dugaw, Educator – University of Portland
Chet Huntley, Broadcast Journalist – Montana State University
Alan E. Norris, Lawyer and Jurist – Otterbein College
Heather Taylor-Miesle, Legislative Activist – Marietta College
Curtis MacDougall, Educator – Ripon
George McGovern, Politician – Dakota Weslayen
James McPherson, Historian – Gustavus Adolphus
Jerry Mitchell, Journalist – Harding
Malcolm Sillars, Educator – Redlands
Edward R. Murrow, Journalist – Washington State
Ann Richards, Politician – Baylor
William Rieke, Scientist – Pacific Lutheran
Robert Schuller, Evangelist – Hope
Spencer Tracy, Actor – Ripon
Additionally, Pi Kappa Delta presents a number of honors and awards to members at NCA every year.
The E.R. Nichols Award: For outstanding contributions to the furtherance of the forensic discipline. It is also recognized as the Pi Kappa Delta Outstanding Teaching Award.
The L.E. Norton Award: For outstanding scholarly contributions to the discipline of competitive or non-competitive forensics.
The John Shields Award: For outstanding contributions to Pi Kappa Delta.
The Bob Derryberry Award: For outstanding contributions from a new forensic educator.
The Carolyn Keefe Award: For an outstanding Pi Kappa Delta alumni member.
The R. David Ray Award: For the outstanding new Pi Kappa Delta Chapter.
The Golden Gavel Award: For outstanding contributions to Pi Kappa Delta.
Top PKD/NCA Panel Award: Presented annually to recognize the top Pi Kappa Delta panel submitted to NCA.
Top PKD/NCA Paper Award: Presented annually to recognize the top Pi Kappa Delta paper submitted to NCA.
Top PKD Student Paper Award: Presented to the Top student paper submitted to Pi Kappa Delta.
E. R. Nichols Award
1989 Carolyn Keefe – West Chester University, PA
1990 Bob Derryberry – Southwest Baptist University, MO
1991 Gary Horn – Ferris State University, MI
1992 Jack Howe – California State University, Long Beach, CA
1993 Michael Bartanen – Pacific Lutheran University, WA
1994 Margaret Greynolds – Georgetown College, KY
1995 Larry Richardson – Western Washington, WA
1996 Mabry O’Donnell – Marietta College, OH
1997 Russell Church – Middle Tennessee State University, TN
1998 Jeanine Barr – York College, PA
1998 R. David Ray – University of Arkansas at Monticello, AR
1999 J. B. Bury – Morgan State University, MD
1999 Larry Schnoor – Mankato State University, MN
2000 Leanne O. Wolff – Heidelburg, College, OH
2000 Harold Lawson (posthumous) – Central Missouri State University, MO
2001 Joel Hefling – South Dakota State University, SD
2002 Ed Hinck – Central Michigan University, MI
2003 Bradford Kinney – Wilkes College, PA
2004 Harry C. Strine III – Bloomsburg University, PA
2005 Glenda Treadaway – Appalachian State University, NC
2006 Gene Alassandrini – Muskingum College, OH
2007 Robert Weiss – DePauw University, IL
2008 Scott Jensen – Webster University, MO,
2009 Tom Preston – University of Missouri-St. Louis, MO
2010 Michael Dugaw – Lower Columbia College, WA
2011 Marty Most – Boise State University, ID
2013 Wayne Kraemer – Texas State University, TX
L. E. Norton Award
1992 Don Brownlee – California State University, Northridge, CA
1993 Tom Preston – University of Missouri – St. Louis, MO
1994 Terry Winebrenner – California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obipso, CA
1995 Don Swanson – Monmouth College, NJ
1996 Steve Hunt – Lewis and Clark College, OR
1997 Kristine Bartanen – University of Puget Sound, WA
1998 Robert Greenstreet – East Central Oklahoma, OK
1999 Kenneth Broda-Bahm – Towson State, MD
2000 Robert Trapp – Willamette University, OR
2001 Daniel Cronn Mills – Minnesota State University – Mankato, MN
2002 Russell Church – Middle Tennessee State University, TN
2003 Jeffrey Hobbs – University of Texas – Tyler, TX
2004 Bill Hill – University of North Carolina-Charlotte, NC
2005 Robert Littlefield – North Dakota State University, ND
2006 David Williams – Texas Tech University, TX
2007 Josh Compton – Southwest Baptist University, MO
2008 Jack Rogers – University of Central Missouri, MO
2010 Scott Jensen – Webster University, MO
2011 Michael Bartanen – Pacific Lutheran University, WA
2013 Susan Millsap – Otterbein University, OH
John Shields Award
1992 Kristine Bartanen – University of Puget Sound, WA
1993 Harold Widvey – South Dakota State University, SD
1994 Jim Norwig – Louisiana Tech University, LA
1995 R. David Ray – University of Arkansas at Monticello, AR
1996 Terry Cole – Appalachian State University, NC
1997 Carolyn Keefe – West Chester University, PA
1997 Bill Roberts – Gustavus Adolphus College, MN
1998 Tony Allison – Cameron University, OK
1999 Robert Littlefield – North Dakota State University, ND
2000 Bill Hill – University of North Carolina-Charlotte, NC
2001 Michael Bartanen – Pacific Lutheran University, WA
2001 Gary Horn – Ferris State University, MI
2002 Margaret Greynolds – Georgetown College, KY
2003 Marbry O’Donnell – Marietta College, OH
2004 Scott Jensen – Webster University, MO
2005 Robert Markstrom – McNeese State University, LA
2006 Marty Most – Boise State University, ID
2007 Glenda Treadaway – Appalachian State University, NC
2008 Susan Millsap – Otterbein College, OH
2009 Nina-Jo Moore – Appalachian State University, NC
2010 Edward Hinck – Central Michigan University, MI
2011 Sandy Alspach – Ferris State University, MI
2013 Tom Huebner – Shelton State Community College, AL
Bob Derryberry Award
2001 Shannon Dyer – Southwest Baptist University, MO
2002 Shannon “Mack” Sermon – Albertson College, ID
2002 Jennifer Talbert – Ball State University, IN
2003 Gina Jensen – Webster University, MO
2005 Joshua Compton – Southwest Baptist University, MO
2006 Kristopher Kracht – Gustavus Adolphus College, MN
2007 Jennifer Marmo – Hillsdale College, MI
2008 Patrick “Andy” Luster – McNeese State University, LA
2009 Ryan Louis – Ottawa University, KS
2010 Tomeka Robinson – Marietta College, OH
2011 Sara Collins – MCC Longview, MO
2013 Andrea Carlile – South Dakota State University, SD
Carolyn Keefe Award
2001 Henry Gentry – West Chester University, PA
2003 Helen Pearce Karchner – West Chester University, PA
2005 Jeff Stoppenhagen – Boise State University, ID
2007 Ryan Louis – Ottawa University, ID
2001 Bethany Sanders – The Ohio State University, OH
Golden Gavel Award
2005 Joyce Krueger
2009 Nina-Jo Moore
2011 Robert Markstrom
R. David Ray Award for Outstanding New PKD Chapter
2001 Webster University, MO
2003 Hutchinson Community College, KS
2005 Cedar Crest College, PA
Top PKD/NCA Paper Award
2004 Joshua Compton – University of Oklahoma, OK
2005 Joshua Compton – Southwest Baptist University, MO
Top PKD/NCA Panel Award
2004 Robert Littlefield – North Dakota State University, ND
2005 Joshua Compton – Southwest Baptist University, MO
Top PKD/NCA Student Paper Award
2004 Melissa Broeckelman – Kansas State University, KS
2005 Joshua Randall – University of Minnesota, Mankato, MN
2008 Tasha Carlson – Gustavus Adolphus College, MN
Pi Kappa Delta sends a regular newsletter to all member schools. The Key includes information about the National Tournament, what’s happening in the community, upcoming conferences, training opportunities, and more. In addition, The Forensic is the leading academic journal produced by Pi Kappa Delta for the collegiate speech and debate community. Issues are mailed quarterly to member schools.
View Past Issues of The Key
The Key – Fall 2017 (PDF Download)
To continue providing leadership training and opportunities to college students, Pi Kappa Delta needs your support! Your small gift will provide more students the opportunity to participate in speech and debate at the collegiate level. Your donation will be used to directly support speech and debate programming.
Pi Kappa Delta is a registered 501(c)(3). All contributions are tax deductible.
Donate by Mail
Pi Kappa Delta
ATTN: Lisa Vossekuil
401 Railroad Place
West Des Moines, IA 52065-4730
Special thanks to the Arthur N. Rupe Foundation for supporting Pi Kappa Delta!
Previous PKD Officers
National Presidents (1913 to Present)
1913-1918 E. R. Nichols – Ripon and Redlands
1918-1922 J. R. Macarthur – Kansas State College
1922-1924 Charles A. Marsh – Morningside College
1924-1928 Alfred Westfall – Colorado A & M College
1928-1930 William H. Veatch – State College of Washington
1930-1932 George R. R. Pflaum – Kansas State Teachers-Emporia
1932-1934 H. Dana Hopkins – Heidleberg College
1934-1936 George McCarty – South Dakota State
1936-1938 S. R. Toussaint – Monmouth College
1938-1940 Forrest H. Rose – Southeast Missouri State
1940-1942 W. V. O’Connell – Northern Illinois State Teachers
1942-1942 Glen Capp – Baylor (resigned to enter military)
1942-1947 Martin J. Holcomb – Augustana, Illinois
1947-1949 Edward Betz – College of the Pacific
1949-1951 Sherod Collins – N. E. State Teachers – Missouri
1951-1953 Roy Mahaffey – Linfield College
1953-1955 John Randolph – Westminster College-Missouri
1955-1957 Theodore R. Nelson – St. Olaf College
1957-1959 Larry E. Norton – Bradley University
1959-1961 Harvey C. Cromwell – Mississippi College for Women
1961-1963 Raymond C. Yeager – Bowling Green State University
1963-1965 Roy D. Murphy – University of S. W. Louisiana
1965-1967 Georgia Bowman – William Jewell College
1967-1969 Theodore O. H. Karl – Pacific Lutheran University
1969-1971 H. Francis Short – Kansas State College-Pittsburg
1971-1973 Fred B. Goodwin – Southeast Missouri State
1973-1975 John E. Baird – California State-Hayward
1975-1977 Evan Ulrey – Harding College
1977-1979 Tom Harte – Southeast Missouri State
1979-1981 Roger Hufford – Clarion State College
1981-1983 Jack D. Starr, Jr – University of Wisconsin – LaCrosse
1983-1985 Penny Swisher Kievet – William Jewell College
1985-1987 Gary Horn – Ferris State College
1987-1989 R. David Ray – University of Arkansas-Monticello
1989-1991 Terry Cole – Appalachian State University
1991-1993 Robert S. Littlefield – North Dakota State Universtiy
1993-1995 Sally A. Roden – University of Central Arkansas
1995-1997 Bill Hill – University of North Carolina-Charlotte
1997-1999 Joel Hefling – South Dakota State University
1999-2001 Scott Jensen – Webster University
2001-2003 Glenda Treadaway – Appalachian State University
2003-2005 Susan P. Millsap – Otterbein College
2005-2007 Sandra L. Alspach – Ferris State University
2007-2009 Tom Huebner – Carson Newman College
2009-2011 Phillip Voight – Gustavus Adolphus College
2011-2013 Gina Jensen – Webster University
2013-2015 Jeffrey Stoppenhagen – Boise State University
National Secretary/Treasurers (1913 to Present)
1913-1916 John A. Shields – Ottawa University
1916-1920 Roy Painter (Treasurer) – Washburn College
1916-1918 John R. Macarthur (Secretary) – Kansas State College
1918-1922 Charles A. Marsh (Secretary) – Morningside College
1920-1922 Alfred Westfall (Treasurer) – Colorado A & M College
1922-1924 Alfred Westfall – Colorado A & M College
1924-1948 George Finley – Colorado State College of Education
1948-1953 S. R. Toussaint – Colorado State College of Education
1953-1963 D. N. Nabors – East Central State College
1963-1973 Larry Norton – Bradley University
1973-1981 Theodore O. H. Karl – Pacific Lutheran University
1981-1985 Tony Allison – Cameron University
1985-1993 Harold Widvey – South Dakota State University
1993-1998 Robert S. Littlefield – North Dakota State University
1998-2009 Bill Hill – University of North Carolina-Charlotte
2009-Present Michael Bartanen – Pacific Lutheran University