James Towne ’15 Qualifies for Debate World Championships Hosted in Hong Kong

James Towne ’15 will pit his debate skills against internationally-acclaimed speakers in the World Individual Debating & Public Speaking Championship in Hong Kong this April.

Towne qualified for the tournament by winning third place in Advanced Speaker at The Hotchkiss School Parliamentary Extemporaneous Debate Competition last Sunday. The first member of the Philomathean Society to qualify for the prestigious tournament this year, he will represent the United States alongside other top debaters from across the country.

“It feels great. [Qualifying] is something I’ve been striving for, especially… to end [my Senior year] with a bang,” said Towne.

Towne and his partner, Tejasv Arya ’15, also took first place in Advanced Pair in the Hotchkiss tournament, and Andover’s team placed third overall. They competed in three rounds of debate in which they were given ten minutes for each round to prepare speeches on the given resolution.

“I believe in the power of persuasion. It’s really powerful how you can learn to organize your thoughts and persuade someone based on logic and the way you sound to convince them of something,” said Towne.

Towne joined the Philomathean Society his Junior year. He became interested in debate after attending debate camp in sixth grade.

At the Championship, Towne will face off against students from countries such as Australia, Botswana, Canada, Cyprus, England, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Lithuania, Pakistan, South Africa, South Korea and Zimbabwe.