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

November 7, 2012
Sadler Center, Commonwealth Auditorium
200 Stadium Dr
Williamsburg, VA 23185Map this location
The 2012 Raft Debate will be held on Wednesday, November 7, 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.

2012 participants:

Humanities, Anne H. Charity Hudley, Professor, Community Studies, English and Education

Natural/Computational Sciences, Oliver Kerscher, Associate Professor, Biology

Social Sciences, Christine Nemacheck, Associate Professor, Government

Devil's Advocate, Arthur Knight, Associate Professor, American Studies and English

Judge, John Swaddle, Dean of Graduate Studies and Research