A Tribute to Scott Deatherage

Original Member of the CDC, Long-Time CDL Supporter, and NAUDL Executive Director

As most of you know by now, Scott Deatherage, Executive Director of the National Association for Urban Debate Leagues, passed away on Christmas morning. Scott dedicated his professional life to competitive academic debate, including the past 18 months as the leader of the NAUDL.

During his time at at Northwestern University, where he was the Director of Debate from 1991 to 2007, Scott was a great friend of the CDL. He was an original member of the Chicago Debate Commission, formed in 1995. He hosted the Chicago Debate Championships at Northwestern from 1999-2004. As a college coach seeking debaters for his nationally-successful program, he recruited extensively within the Chicago Debate League, resulting in a Northwestern education for some of the CDL’s biggest stars, including Dr. Tracy Carson, LaTonya Starks, Monica Merriweather, Jonathan Reynolds and others. He single-handedly convinced Northwestern University to sponsor ten to twenty full scholarships to their Summer Debate Institute, which he directed.

Scott used his time as the NAUDL Executive Director to continue his support of urban debate in Chicago. As one of his last acts, just a week or so before his death, he arranged a donation for the CDC National Circuit Program for $4,000.

Scott Deatherage was a person of generous spirit and relentless passion. He was committed to excellence — he demanded it from himself and he sought to bring it out in others. Most of all, he was a great friend of debate and a strong believer in the transformative power of education. We will miss him greatly.