Richard Kirshberg (C61)

Dick Kirshberg of Miami Beach, Fla., joined the Northwestern debate team as a freshman in the 1957-58 school year. Dick, with his partner, William Welsh, won the 1958 National Debate Tournament at West Point as freshmen and repeated by winning the 1959 National Tournament as sophomores. Dick and his partner were the only freshmen to have won the tournament as of 1958 and were the only two-time underclassmen winners as of 1959.

Over the two years he competed, Dick had a cumulative 127-32 win-loss record. He and his partners won nine tournaments, placed second in four others, and third in two more. 

As a freshman, Dick had a 60-6 regular season win-loss record winning five tournaments and having the best record at the District V qualifying tournament for the NDT.  Among the tournaments he won were the Wisconsin State-Oshkosh tournament, where Dick and his partner were undefeated, Kansas State Emporia, and Dartmouth, where Dick was part of both the winning two-person and four-person teams.  He and Bill Welsh also placed second at the Xavier tournament, then the “warm up” tournament for the National Debate Tournament. 

As a sophomore, Dick won the Harvard tournament (with Eldon Lanning), the Edmund, Okla., tournament, Dartmouth, and the University of Kansas Heart of America tournaments.  Dick and his partner Bill Welsh tied for top speaker at the Heart of America tournament. In addition, Kirshberg and Welsh were again second at the Xavier tournament.

Dick was a member of the Steering Committee for the first NU debate reunion 25 years ago and made the leadership gift for the Northwestern Debate Endowment.