The Colgate Scene
March 2005

The coach

[Photo by Timothy D. Sofranko]

For Miranda Weigler (left), Colgate's full-time debate coach, a little good-natured give-and-take isn't just a perk of her job; it's a part of everyday conversation.

The daughter of a lawyer (Jerard '54) and a mediator, and younger sister of a collegiate debater, Weigler developed a taste for argument at dinnertime discussions growing up. "If I wanted to speak, I had to make a point, and make it known," she explain-ed. "I learned to love debate."

Now a seasoned orator, Weigler cut her debating teeth in college and graduate school at Oxford University and St. Andrews University, where she entered or judged countless competitions and participated in tournaments worldwide. She was president of both the Scottish Students Debating Council and European Universities Debating Council and was a women's officer for the Worlds Universities Debating Council.

Since joining the staff last summer, Weigler has worked to elevate the level of civil discourse at Colgate. Charged with reviving the parliamentary debate, Model United Nations, and Mock Trial programs, she has recruited and trained groups of students who have or will compete nationally and internationally in each area. She has coordinated campuswide events, including public speaking workshops and activities related to the 2004 presidential elections.

"Before she came, the [debate] club was disorganized, membership was low, and no one knew what they were doing," said Lindsay Bourne '05, who traveled to the Worlds Universities Debating Competition. "Having someone to coach us has really turned the club around."

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