Pacific Speech & Debate (Forensics)

"Forensics," derived from the Latin term for ensis and closely related to forum. It is the art or study of argumentation and formal debate. The Greeks organized contests for speakers that developed and recognized the abilities their society felt central to democracy. The term "forensic" has also become associated with the art and science of legal evidence and argument. Our association researches and trains in the earlier and more global skills of argument and public advocacy.

The Pacific University Speech & Debate Team, also referred to as forensics, is a member of the Northwest Forensics Conference, representing colleges and universities in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Utah, and California. Pacific's award-winning forensics team attends eight to ten tournaments a year to compete with other colleges and universities in speech & debate events. Since 2000, Pacific has consistently finished in the top of the conference for season sweepstakes, including third place for the 2008-2009 season.

The benefits of participating on the Speech & Debate Team are as diverse as the events the team competes in.

  • Participating in speech & debate helps to develop skills in critical thinking, research methods, organization, language usage, listening, and public speaking.
  • Speech & debate also helps with career preparation. All professions demand skills in language - writing, thinking, reading, speaking, and listening.
  • Finally, forensics is fun. Through forensics, you will develop friendships with students from Pacific and other colleges and universities. Through teamwork and cooperation, the team succeeds and team members enjoy their experiences with speech & debate.

Open to all Pacific University students, the Speech & Debate Team invites you to become part of this successful tradition.


The team is proud to offer merit scholarships ranging from $2,000 to $4,000 per year for qualified incoming students.


For more information, contact Daniel Broyles, director of Forensics, at


The Pacific University Forensics Team is pleased to host both the annual Hap Hingston and biennial Fred Scheller Forensics Invitational Speech and Debate Tournaments in January. 

Freshman Maddie Moradi '25 took top honors for Novice/Junior Speakers at the 91st Mahaffey Memorial Forensics Tournament and the team placed seventh overall. 

Olivia Rockwood

Olivia Rockwood ’21 has been named Pacific University’s Outstanding Senior in Speech and Debate.