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Theatre and Communication Arts

The Roy ("Hap") Mahaffey Memorial Collegiate Forensics Tournament


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Linfield College began hosting an invitational intercollegiate forensics tournament in 1931. It is one of the oldest tournaments (if not the oldest) in the country to offer an annual tournament without a break.  That is, the Linfield Forensics Program is about to mark the 85th year of its "streak" of offering consecutive annual intercollegiate speech and debate competitions on campus. According to Mahaffey, McMinnville College, the predecessor of Linfield College, began organized forensics activity in 1880, with elocutionary declamation and debate appearing as early as the 1860s.

Upon his retirement, the Linfield collegiate tournament was named in honor of Roy D. "Hap" Mahaffey, a Linfield alum, who joined the faculty in 1928. Mahaffey was one of the pioneers in forensics education in the Northwest and, indeed, in the country. He served as president of the national foresnics honorary, Pi Kappa Delta, and in 1987 was elected as a charter member of its Hall of Fame.

This year's Mahaffey tournament will be held on November 18-20, 2016.

Source: Mahaffey, Roy D. "Speech and Drama." Linfield's Hundred Years. Ed. Kenneth Holmes. Portland, OR: Binfords, 1956.

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