William Welsh (J61, WCAS62, GWCAS65)
William Welsh of Salina, Kansas, joined the Northwestern debate team as a freshman in the 1957-58 school year. Bill, with his partner, Dick Kirshberg, won the 1958 National Debate Tournament at West Point as freshmen and repeated by winning the 1959 National Debate Tournament as sophomores. Bill and Dick were the only freshmen to have won the NDT as of 1958 and were the only two-time consecutive winners as of 1959.
Over the two years he competed, Bill had a cumulative 119-and-30 win-loss record. He and his partners won nine tournaments, took second at four others, and placed third twice.
As a freshman, Bill had a regular season record of 60-6, won five tournaments, and had the best record at the District V qualifying tournament for West Point. Among their tournament victories, Bill and Dick won the Oshkosh, Wisc., tournament, where they were undefeated, Kansas State Emporia, and Dartmouth, where they were members of both the winning two- and four-person teams. Bill and Dick also placed second at the Xavier tournament, then the “warm-up” tournament for Nationals.
As a sophomore, Bill won the Illinois State-Normal tournament, the Edmund Oklahoma tournament, the two- and four-person trophies at Dartmouth, and the University of Kansas Heart of America tournament where he and Dick tied for top speaker. In addition, they placed second for the second year in a row at the Xavier tournament.