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Houston Independent School District
Houston Urban Debate League
News Release
Thursday, March 26, 2009


Houston - The Houston Urban Debate League, the country’s newest affiliate of the National Association for Urban Debate Leagues, is pleased to announce the inaugural Andrews Kurth City Championship Debate Tournament. The two-day tournament will be held on Friday, March 27, at the University of Houston (11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. U of H Satellite; 1:00 p.m. Social Work 101) and on Saturday, March 28 at the Federal Courthouse in downtown Houston.

In addition, HUDL will host an awards ceremony and dinner on Friday, March 27 at the Hilton University of Houston, 4800 Calhoun Street. The awards ceremony begins with a reception at 7:00 p.m. and will feature guest speaker Andrea White, First Lady of Houston. Ms. White will announce the top tournament speakers as well as the teams who will compete in elimination rounds on Saturday, March 28 to determine the Andrews Kurth City Champions. At 8:00 p.m., the HUDL fundraising dinner begins with special guest speaker Melissa Maxcy Wade, Forensics Director at Emory University.   During the dinner, HUDL will conduct a silent auction to help raise funds for the 2009-2010 school year. The auction will include donations from Continental Airlines, Helfman Dodge, the University of Houston Baseball Program, and individual HUDL supporters.

A total of 35 HUDL debate teams will compete in debate rounds on Friday, March 27 on the University of Houston main campus. Elimination rounds and the finals will be held on Saturday, March 28 at the Federal Courthouse, 515 Rusk Street. The exciting final round is scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m. in the Ceremonial Courtroom on the 11th Floor of the Federal Courthouse. The final round will end at approximately 5:00 p.m. to be followed immediately by the announcement of the Andrews Kurth City Champions.

HUDL will present the top two teams the Andrews Kurth Jonathan Day Scholarship. The first place team will receive a total of $5,000 ($2,500 per team member); the second place team will receive a total of $2,500 ($1,250 per team member).  

The funding for these scholarships is being provided by Andrews Kurth LLP. In addition, the top two teams will go on to represent HUDL at the 2nd Annual Chase Urban Debate National Championship in Chicago, Illinois, beginning on April 24, 2009.

The mission of HUDL is to build, support, and sustain programs in Houston’s public high schools to make policy debate an educational resource available to all students. HUDL began in 2008 when, on March 12, 2008, the Houston Independent School District (HISD) board unanimously approved funding a high school HUDL debate program to begin during the 2008-2009 academic year. With the support of HISD, HUDL is currently serving 15 high schools and over 200 students in its inaugural season. To learn more about HUDL, please visit:

The Houston Independent School District is the largest school district in Texas and the 7th largest in the United States with 296 schools and more than 200,000 students. The 301-square-mile district is one of the largest employers in Houston/Harris County, Texas with nearly 30,000 employees. As a result of tremendous academic gains in recent years, a record 157 HISD schools have achieved Texas’ top ratings of Exemplary or Recognized. For more information visit the HISD website at

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