History of Wartburg Forensics

Mr. Robert Smith organized the Wartburg College Speech team in 1956. Throughout the 1950's & 60's Wartburg College was home to numerous state and regional champions. In 1964 the speech team became a member of Pi Kappa Delta (The Iowa Omicron Chapter). In 1968 Mrs. Margaret Coddington coached the Knights Speech Team. The 1970's saw a decline of participation in collegiate speech. In 1973 Wartburg's membership in Pi Kappa Delta was declared inactive and their charter revoked. In the late 1980's Wartburg reemerged on the collegiate circuit through a loosely organized group of students. In 1992 the speech team became an officially recognized group on Wartburg's campus.

Mrs. Peggy Handfelt coached the team throughout the 1990's. In the fall of 2000, Dr. Penni Pier was appointed the new Director of Forensics for Wartburg College . The team officially changed their title to reflect the names of the national organizations. In addition, the team articulated a desire to become regionally and nationally competitive. Since the fall of 2000 the team has had representatives at both the Pi Kappa Delta National Tournaments and the American Forensic Association National Individual Events Tournament.

In 2003 Wartburg finished 7th overall at the Pi Kappa Delta National Tournament. In 2004 Wartburg took three contestants to the American Forensics Association National Individual Events Tournament at the University of California , Long Beach . At that tournament Hiliary Baethke was named to the All American Forensics Team, an honor that was bestowed on only 15 students in 2004. 2004 also marked the first time that both representatives from Iowa at the Interstate Oratorical Contest were from Wartburg College. In 2005 the team placed 6th at the Pi Kappa Delta national Tournament at which Erika Quade was named one of nine All-Americans. In addition, Wartburg College sent four contestants to the American Forensics Association National Competition in Manhattan, KS. For the third consecutive year Wartburg college sent a representative to the Interstate Oratorical Contest in 2005.