[PAST EVENT] The Raft Debate

September 22, 2011
6:30pm - 8:30pm
Sadler Center, Commonwealth Auditorium
200 Stadium Dr
Williamsburg, VA 23185Map this location
The 2011 Raft Debate will be held on Thursday, September 22, at 6:30 p.m. in the Commonwealth Auditorium of the Sadler Center. A reception with cake will be held following the event in Tidewater A, which is free and open to the public.

Described as a "delicate balance of comedy and lecture," the annual Raft Debate features four W&M faculty members from diverse disciplines, stranded on a desolate island with only a one-person life raft for escape to civilization. Which faculty member should survive for the sake of humanity? Based on the volume of applause, the audience chooses the sole survivor as the professors cajole, plead, pontificate and resort shamelessly to props and costumes.

The quirky event originated in the mid-1900s and was revived during the 2000s by the Graduate Center, the A&S Office of Graduate Studies and Research, and the A&S Graduate Student Association. Faculty participants represent the Humanities, the Social Sciences, or the Natural and Computational Sciences. The Devil's Advocate, who argues sarcastically that none of the academic disciplines are worth saving, has on rare occasion emerged victoriously.

2011 participants:

Humanities, Vassiliki Panoussi, Associate Professor, Classical Studies

Natural/Computational Sciences, Larry Leemis, Professor, Mathematics

Social Sciences, Andrew Fisher, Associate Professor, History

Devil's Advocate, Pamela Eddy, Associate Professor, Education

Judge, Laurie Sanderson, Dean of Graduate Studies and Research