[PAST EVENT] Raft Debate - A W&M Tradition

October 5, 2015
6:30pm - 8pm
Phi Beta Kappa (PBK) Memorial Hall, Memorial Hall
601 Jamestown Rd
Williamsburg, VA 23185Map this location
The 2015 Raft Debate will be held on Monday, October 5, at 6:30 pm in PBK Hall.

The event 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 victorious.

This years survivors representing their disciplines and the fate of humanity are:

Humanities: Professor Katherine Preston [Music].

Social Sciences: Associate Professor Peter Vishton [Psychology].

Natural and Computational Sciences: Professor Christopher Del Negro [Applied Science].

The Devil's Advocate will be played by Assistant Professor Christopher Freiman [Philosophy].

The Judge will be played by Virginia Torczon, Dean of Graduate Studies and Research, Arts & Sciences.

The Raft Debate, sponsored by the Office of Graduate Studies and Research, the Graduate Center, and the A&S Graduate Student Association, is free and open to the public. For more information, visit our webpage:


or contact Chasity Roberts at [[cyroberts]]