Campus News

UK Debate Team National Champions Recognized at UK Basketball Game

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 6, 2020) ­— Last March, the University of Kentucky Debate Team of Dan Bannister and Anthony Trufanov defeated the University of Georgia to become the 2019 National Debate Tournament (NDT) champions. This was the second win at the NDT for UK and the first in 33 years. The previous winning team was Ouita Michel and David Brownell in 1986.

To make it to the final round with Georgia UK had to defeat some of the best teams in the country such as Northwestern, Cornell, Berkeley, Michigan and Kansas.

During the Tuesday, Feb. 4, men's basketball game at Rupp Arena, UK honored both Bannister and Trufanov, along with David Arnett the debate program director.

Most recently the UK Debate Team, housed in the College of Communication and Information, started their 2019-2020 season off strong by winning the three-day Hoosier Invitational, hosted by the University of Indiana. The UK team is now preparing for tournaments at the Naval Academy and the University of Texas-Austin as they continue to defend their national champion title.

You can follow the debate team at

(left to right) Anthony Trufanov, Dan Bannister, Dave Arnett (coach); Mark Cornelison | UKphoto
(left to right) Anthony Trufanov, Dan Bannister, Dave Arnett (coach); Mark Cornelison | UKphoto

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.