Vincent J. Binder Urban Debate Scholars Award

The Vincent J. Binder Urban Debate Scholars Award

History: Vincent (Vince) Binder was born November 25, 1980, in Brooklyn, New York, and grew up in Jupiter, Florida. It was at Jupiter High School (1994-1998) that he discovered his passion for competition, argumentation, persuasion, and knowledge through the school's debate program. Vince was a successful debater from the beginning, dominating the Florida novice Lincoln-Douglas circuit. He quickly moved on to the Florida Policy Debate circuit and was crowned Novice State Champion for the state of Florida, along with his partner Jim Schultz, in 1995. Vince excelled at the varsity level of policy debate in high school as well, reaching elimination rounds at many national tournaments and receiving numerous individual speaker awards. As a result of his accomplishments in high school, Vince received a scholarship to debate at the college level.

Vince continued this excellence in college, culminating in his senior year at West Georgia University where he reached elimination rounds at every tournament he attended, including sweeping the UNLV Round Robin and invitational tournament with a combined 17-1 record, debating in the finals at Northwestern, and debating in the semifinals at Wake Forest. For his accomplishments during the regular season, Vince’s team was voted the 7th best in the country, receiving an automatic invitation to the National Debate Tournament. He reached elimination rounds at both collegiate National tournaments and placed 3rd at the Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA) nationals, where he was recognized as the 6th best overall speaker at the nation's largest tournament. With all of his competitive success in debate, he was also recognized as one of the most social and friendly debaters on the circuit.

After graduating from the University of West Georgia with a B.A. in Sociology, Vince was accepted into the M.A. in Rhetoric program at Florida State University, where he served not only as a Teaching Assistant for Public Speaking classes, but also as the University's Debate Coach.

Purpose: Tragically, Vince's life was cut short in April of 2010, at the age of 29, as a result of random violence. The Vincent J. Binder Fund is intended to honor his legacy in debate, as well as his passion for teaching. Like many aspiring debaters, Vince came from a school with a limited debate budget. Debate can be an expensive extra-curricular activity, so Vince had to make difficult sacrifices to pursue his passion. It is the hope of his family and friends that this award will assist other aspiring debaters who are financially limited in their ability to compete regionally and nationally, opening the high school debate field up to many more debaters and improving the lives of the recipients through their participation in what we know to be a life-changing activity.

2015 Vincent J. Binder Urban Debate Scholarship Winners

Samuel Eluto
Brooklyn Technical High School, Brooklyn, NY
New York City Debate Institute 

Christine Harris
Skyline High School, Oakland, CA
Dartmouth Debate Institute 

Tamara Morrison
University Prep High School, Detroit,MI
University of Michigan 7 week Institute. 


The Vincent J. Binder Urban Debate Scholars Award helps send low-to-moderate income high school urban debaters to summer debate institutes. This financial assistance may include tuition, travel, and a small stipend for food, supplies, etc. necessary during the duration of the institute.

Please make a note on your check or during checkout on our Donate page: Vince Binder Scholarship Fund.

Thank you!