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Campbell receives first Simon debate scholarship

October 29, 2012, Saluki Times

Southern Illinois University Carbondale's Paul Simon Public Policy Institute and the Department of Speech Communication have established a scholarship program to honor the University's championship debate team.

The "Paul Simon Debater" annual scholarship will come from the Institute's privately raised funds in honor of the late U.S. Sen., and Institute founder Paul Simon's commitment to debate and civil discourse.

Benjamin W. Campbell, a senior in political science from Springfield, Mo., is the first recipient of the $5,000 scholarship.

"It sometimes gets overlooked but SIU is home to one of the nation's leading championship debate teams," said David Yepsen, director of the Institute. "For years, SIU's teams have routinely bested other, larger schools in national competitions and contests. It is fitting that we honor that team -- and Senator Simon -- by supporting the team's students through an annual scholarship to one of the team members. Paul loved nothing more than the civil argument of the Senate floor. I think he'd like the fact we're helping students learn those skills while bringing credit to themselves and the university."

Todd Graham, director of debate, said, "I can't think of a better person than Ben to be named as our first Paul Simon Debater. He's a dedicated student, an outstanding debater, and as gracious as any person as you'll ever meet."

Read the rest of the Saluki Times article here.