The Faculty


Description: http://www.whitman.edu/offices_departments/rhetoric/history/1987_files/90-1993.jpg

Bob Withycombe, Director of Forensics


Whitman News

A. The new art wing of Olin Hall was opened in the spring. Reynolds Hall was demolished, a new automatic sprinkler system was installed, and the Sheehan Gallery was opened.

B. Robert Skotheim was in his final year as the college president.

C. Whitman alumnus and professor, Nobel Laureate Dr. William H. Brattain died of Alzheimer’s disease.

D. Whitman faculty voted to switch to a 3-2 teaching load (which was revoked before it was implemented and instead replaced with a more generous sabbatical program).

E. Some dispute surrounded the removal of English professor Christopher Howell.

F. The debate team moved to Olin Hall again, meeting in Olin 221. Bob's office was Olin 183.


Speech Courses

Courses remain the same.

Speech Department Description: Courses treat public speaking as a liberal art, proposing that such speaking is not a skill learned by rule but an exercise of judgment that can be no better than the speaker's understanding of the nature of the communicative acts.


SPEECH 110. Fundamentals of Speech, 3 hours.

SPEECH 221, 222. Principles and Practice of Forensics, 1 hours (individual events), 2 hours (debate).

SPEECH 270. Argumentation and Persuasion, 3 hours.

SPEECH 370. Seminar: Western Rhetorical Thinking, 3 hours.


World News

A. Robert Bork was under consideration for and rejected as a Supreme Court justice.

B. Douglas Ginsburg followed Bork and lost the nomination due to prior marijuana use.

C. Anthony Kennedy ultimately received the Supreme Court position.

C. The Iran-Contra scandal raged on. When Reagan testified, he repeatedly stated that he did not remember.

D. Reagan and Gorbachev sign a treaty eliminating mid-range nuclear missiles.

E. Star Trek: The Next Generation debuted on television.

F. Dow Jones crashes on “Black Monday” plummeting in value by 22% in one day. It slowly recovered but concerns about another great depressions were raised.


Team Awards

A. Robert Withycombe was the professor and director of forensics of the speech department.

B. Speech courses offered included public speaking, forensics, argumentation and persuasion, and western rhetorical thinking.

C. Intercollegiate season

1. Seattle Pacific University

a. Whitman placed first overall.

b. Drummond Kahn won first in persuasive speaking.

c. Erik Highberg was first in impromptu speaking.

d. Finalists included Tracy Dethlefs, Jennifer Rust, Michaelle Browers, Mike Mann, and Daphne Teals.

2. Western Washington University

a. Highberg and Rust were second in CEDA debate with a 5-1 record.

b. David Hackett and Kahn were fourth in CEDA debate with a 4-2 record.

c. Hackett was the third speaker in CEDA debate while Kahn was second.

3. United States Air Force Academy

a. Hackett and Kahn were octafinalists in CEDA debate.

b. Kevin Connolly and Browers lost in double octafinals of CEDA.

c. Rust and Highberg lost in CEDA octafinals.

d. Rust took sixth in communication analysis.

e. Highberg took fourth in extemporaneous speaking.

f. Kahn won second in impromptu speaking.

4. University of Oregon

a. Lanora Welker and Bobbi Hatzenberger received an award in novice CEDA debate.

b. Dethlefs placed in junior prose and interpretive reading.

c. Kahn placed in extemporaneous speaking.

d. Three Whtiman teams competed in semifinals of junior CEDA debate: Susie Myster and Jean Tobin, Gaylynn Gilmore and Verity Smith, and Mann and Teals who place second.

5. University of Southern California and University of California-Los Angeles

a. Whitman took fifth out of 48 schools at USC and out of 88 schools at UCLA.

b. Three of the top 10 speakers were Whitties.

6. Pacific Lutheran University and the University of Puget Sound

a. All of Whitman’s debate teams advanced to elimination rounds.

b. Kahn won the 1988 Batton/Karl Award for outstanding IE performance.

c. Hackett and Kahn, and Highberg and Rust advanced to semifinals in debate.

d. Teals and Mann, and William Boykin and Dave Carlson advanced to debate quarterfinals.

e. Myster and Tobin won second in debate.

7. Final Northwest Designated Tournament

a. Whitman won sweepstakes.

b. Hackett and Kahn, and Teals and Mann tied for third in debate.

c. Hackett, Kahn, Mann, and Highberg took second, third, sixth, and seventh speaker awards, respectively, in championship CEDA debate.

d. In intermediate CEDA debate, Carlson was first speaker while Boykin was seventh.

e. Kahn won the Coaches’ Commemorative Award for the second year in a row.

f. Welker won championship informative speaking.

g. Dethlefs won intermediate oral interpretive speaking.

h. Rust, Kahn, and Hackett all placed second in their IEs.

8. National Qualifiers

a. Hackett qualified in sales, impromptu and extemporaneous speaking, communication analysis, duo, and poetry.

b. Welker qualified in extemporaneous and impromptu speaking, as did Highberg.

c. Rust qualified in communication analysis and poetry.

d. Mann qualified in impromptu speaking.

e. Hackett and Kahn, Highberg and Rust, Teals and Mann, and Browers and Smith qualified for CEDA Nationals.

D. The CEDA debaters ranked 12th in the nation as of December 3.

E. The team won sweepstakes at all three Northwest tournaments it attended.

F. Steve Hunt of Lewis and Clark College wrote a letter of congratulations to the school and the Pioneer concerning the forensics team.


Krtistina Lamp Murray wrote Jim sometime in 2001: “Bob Withycombe had more “40th birthdays” than anyone else I’ve ever met (so we could have free dessert).