William E. Snyder (C66, L69)
Bill began debating at Northwestern during the 1962-63 school year. A native of Evanston, he came to NU after having gone undefeated in winning the 1961 Northwestern National High School Debate Institute. Bill was a member of the top two-person team for three years at Northwestern. He and his partner, Mike Denger, won the 1966 National Debate Tournament at West Point, at which Bill was named top speaker, an award he received seven other times his senior year. During his four-year career, Bill and his partners compiled a 246-87 win-loss record, winning 12 tournaments and placing second in one other.
As a freshman, Bill won the freshman national debate tournament held at Bellarmine University and the Capitol Hill Tournament at the University of Maryland. As a sophomore, Bill and partner Gary Werskey won the Vanderbilt University Tournament.
As a junior and senior, Bill partnered with Mike Denger. Bill and Mike went 18 and 0 in semi-final and final rounds during the two years they debated together, won nine tournaments, and had the best regular season debate record in the country over both the 1964-65 and 1965-66 seasons.
In his junior year, Bill had a 65-24 record, winning four of nine tournaments (Brandeis University, University of Chicago, Harvard University Invitational, and Georgetown University Invitational). In 1965, Bill lost in the quarter-finals at West Point and was named third speaker. In 1964 -65, Bill also was named top speaker at the University of Chicago tournament, and placed second at Brandeis and Georgetown.
In his senior year, Bill and Mike won five of ten tournaments entered — University of Kentucky, Harvard University Invitational (for the second year in a row), University of Chicago (also for the second consecutive year), Ohio State University, and the National Debate Tournament. They also reached the elimination rounds at Brandeis, Georgetown and Dartmouth, compiling an 85-17 record. They had a winning streak of 26 in a row during the year. In the 1965-66 season, Bill was named top speaker at Kentucky, Brandeis, Chicago, Vanderbilt, Ohio State, Harvard, Dartmouth, and the National Debate Tournament. For the period prior to 1980, Bill’s record of nine top-speaker awards in a career and eight in a single season are each the second highest in NU debate history.