Speech & Debate

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Information on type, format, and rules

Meetings & Events

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About Speech & Debate

The Texas State Communication Studies Department sponsors three organizations involved in speech and debate activities.

  • LBJ Debate Society
  • Elton Abernathy Forensics Society
  • Coronal Philosophical Society

The LBJ Debate Society

The LBJ Debate Society is named for the 36th President of the United States Lyndon Baines Johnson. LBJ debated for Texas State (Southwest Texas Teacher’s College) for revered debate coach H. M. Greene.

The current focus of the team is National Forensic Association (NFA) Lincoln-Douglas (LD) Debate. NFA-LD is one-on-one debate using a year-long policy resolution as the topic. The Society also competes in National Parliamentary Debate Association (NPDA) team parliamentary debate and International Public Debate Association (IPDA) individual parliamentary debate. Parliamentary debate topics change every round and use limited preparation before the debate. The teams travel a local, regional, and national circuit. Debaters also qualify as members of Pi Kappa Delta National Forensics Honorary.

The Elton Abernathy Forensics Society

The Elton Abernathy Forensics Society, Texas State’s competitive speech team, is named for Prof. Elton Abernathy, a long-time chair of the department and former Director of Forensics. We are members of the American Forensics Association (AFA), the National Forensics Association (NFA) and Pi Kappa Delta (PKD). The team travels locally, regionally, and nationally, with an emphasis on qualifying for the American Forensics Association-National Speech Tournament (AFA-NST).

The Coronal Philosophical Society is named for the Coronal Institute, founded in San Marcos in 1868. The society sponsors public debates and speech events for the campus and community. These debates are often conducted in a forum style that allows for audience participation.


Membership and participation in any of the societies is open to all full-time students in good standing at Texas State University. Traveling team designation is assigned to students who meet the requirements for that tournament as well as meeting satisfactory work progress designation from the coaching staff. Meetings are held every Tuesday at 5:00pm in Centennial 318.


Limited scholarships are offered to students based on work ethic, accomplishments, and commitment to the team. Scholarships are awarded at the end of each semester. They are one-time stipends that may be awarded continually. 

Coaching Staff

The team is coached by Wayne Kramer and Jeremy Hutchins.

Wayne Kraemer is the Director of Forensics at Texas State University. He is the Executive Secretary and past President of the Texas Intercollegiate Forensics Association (TIFA). He served as the Operations Manager for the Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA) National Tournament and for 28 years served as the University Interscholastic League (UIL) Debate Consultant. Kraemer has been honored as the TIFA Educator of the Year and Texas Speech Communication Association (TSCA) Educator of the year. He has also received the Brownlee Award from CEDA for service, the Norton Award from Pi Kappa Delta for coaching, and the Texas State Presidential Award for Excellence in Service.

Jeremy Hutchins is the Associate Director of Forensics for Texas State and primary debate coach for the team. Hutchins is currently the President of the Texas Intercollegiate Forensics Association (TIFA) and has received the association’s Educator of the Year Award. He has directed the University Interscholastic League’s Region IV-AAA regional speech tournament and has also served on the tournament staff of the UIL’s Cross-Examination and Lincoln-Douglas State Championships. Before his tenure at Texas State, Jeremy directed programs at Wharton County Junior College (TX) and Johnson Country Community College (KS), where his teams earned national honors at the Phi Rho Pi National Tournament. Mr. Hutchins received his MA from Texas State and is thrilled to be back in San Marcos. But more importantly, he is awestruck to be working with Wayne Kraemer. “Wayne is the most amazing person and colleague anyone would want to work with and I am humbled, honored, grateful, and pleased to be alongside him”, said Hutchins as tears welled up in his eyes.

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