Debate forms the core of a healthy American democracy.  Over the years, the Arthur N. Rupe Foundation has provided grants to support an array of debate programs. The foundation is committed to advancing civil and structured debate as a means of discussing the vital issues of our time.

National Speech and Debate Association
The Rupe Foundation supports the National Speech and Debate Association in order to promote public forum debate in our nation’s high schools. The Arthur N. Rupe Foundation grant provides scholarships to more students and in higher amounts at the NSDA Speech & Debate National Tournament. Also, through the Rupe Scholars website, Public Forum students and coaches have the opportunity to obtain exclusive interviews, research, and resources from leading professionals. At the district level, local media and public policy professionals highlight the accomplishments of the public forum debaters.

Pi Kappa Delta
Founded over a century ago, Pi Kappa Delta is an honorary society created to provide a venue for the ethical practice of speech and debate at the collegiate level. Funding provided to PKD will be used to encourage the growth of audience-centered public forum debate at the collegiate level. Additionally, the grant will provide support for the public forum debate event at PKD’s biennial tournament.

The Madison Cup
The James Madison Day Commemorative Debate and Citizenship Forum (aka The Madison Cup) will celebrate its fifteenth anniversary in 2015. The Madison Cup is the premiere public debate event in the country and the only competition which brings together individuals from all of the major intercollegiate debate organizations to discuss issues of importance to American democracy. The Arthur N. Rupe Foundation is the primary sponsor of this debate competition.

Benjamin Rush Institute
The Benjamin Rush Institute is a membership organization with student chapters on nearly two dozen medical school campuses across the country. The centerpiece of its activities is a series of Oxford-style debates in which physicians and other leading health care experts from both sides of the aisle argue their positions in a civil and spirited atmosphere. A grant from the Arthur N. Rupe Foundation will fund several of these debates during the 2014-15 academic year.

The Arthur N. Rupe Great Debate Series at UC Santa Barbara
The Arthur N. Rupe Foundation has made a major grant to establish a series of debates that brings great minds from a variety of fields and disciplines to UCSB and the Santa Barbara community. The Arthur N. Rupe Great Debate Series explores contemporary societal issues of national and international significance through the presentation of eminent figures who hold divergent viewpoints.

“Let us bring the greatest minds of our time together at UCSB,” explains Arthur N. Rupe, “and provide a forum to discuss and debate the nation’s and world’s vital questions. Let us seek out from around the globe eminent scholars in diverse fields, and challenge them and each other. Let us discuss relevant issues, grapple with the facts, and create inspiring dialogue.”

Cicero’s Podium at the Intercollegiate Studies Institute
“What is the Role of Government in a Free Society?” is a debate series conducted by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute with the generous support of the Arthur N. Rupe Foundation at select colleges and universities across America. Each debate addresses a different aspect of the theme in the light of a current policy, cultural, economic, or social issue.