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April 7, 2009
By John Trent
University of Nevada, Reno President Milt Glick ran out of hands Tuesday morning when members of the University’s debate team presented him with the trophies they had won during several recent national competitions.
First Glick had one trophy in his hand. Then, like a human scale, he was able to balance a second huge trophy in his other hand. A third trophy, followed by a commemorative plate, proved too much for Glick, however.
“I guess I’m not allowed to eat off this plate,” Glick joked about the sheer amount of hardware accumulated by senior David Pena and sophomore Max Alderman during the National Parliamentary Debate Association Championship Tournament in Stockton, Calif., on March 30 and the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellent in Berkeley, Calif., on March 23. Thanks to Pena and Alderman, Nevada won both national tournaments.
“This has been one of the most phenomenal experiences of my life,” Alderman said. “This is the epitome of what we could’ve achieved and we couldn’t have done it without the support of the University.”
Added Pena, a four-year member of the Nevada team: “This was my last year and it was a very good way to finalize my career here.”
Nevada coach Phil Sharp said the University’s support and the institution’s strong history in debate – former Nevada debate team members include such luminaries as former Nevada Gov. and Sen. Richard Bryan – helped make the past season’s achievements possible.
“This is impossible without the support of a long history of people … the people who have fought and clawed for this program,” he said.
Among those in attendance for Tuesday’s presentation was Provost Marc Johnson and Heather Hardy, dean of the College of Liberal Arts.
Hardy, who was proud to note that both Pena (philosophy and women’s studies) and Alderman (philosophy and political science) have majors in her college, good-naturedly noted that the duo’s success has created a turf war of sorts in the College of Liberal Arts.
“I guarantee you that all three of these departments claim them as their own,” she said, smiling.
In addition to the hardware that was presented to Glick, Sharp also gave the Nevada chief executive a T-shirt that proclaimed “I survived Stockton” – a reference to the site of the National Parliamentary Debate Association Championship Tournament.
Sharp said that although Glick was not in Stockton in person, the support of the administration was always felt during the five-day tournament, where a day of competition often lasted up to 12 hours.
“I would say your work helped us conquer Stockton,” Sharp said.
Added Glick: “Just as we celebrate athletic achievement, an achievement like this is even more important. These two young men represent the very best of our University.”