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Contact: John Scarffe, KU Endowment Association, (785) 832-7336

KU names first Gidley Debate Scholars

LAWRENCE -- Two University of Kansas freshmen have been named the first recipients of the J. Mark Gidley and Bridget O. Gidley Debate Scholarship.

Awardees for the 2004-05 academic year are Nathaniel Johnson, son of Ronald and Betty Johnson of Manhattan; and Andrew Jennings, son of Kathy Jennings of Silver Lake. The scholarship is given annually to students entering the KU debate program who possess superior academic backgrounds.

Johnson and Jennings are majoring in political science. They were successful high-school debaters and participated in the Kansas Debate Coaches' Invitational, a prestigious high-school tournament. Johnson is a National Merit Scholars finalist, and Jennings is a member of the National Honor Society and a freshman honors scholar at KU.

"We are happy to be able to get both Nate and Andrew to debate at KU. They are among the most talented debaters in the state, and we look forward to great things from them," said Scott Harris, director of debate at KU.

J. Mark and Bridget O. Gidley of McLean, Va., and Mark's parents, John Lynn and Virginia P. Gidley of Houston, established the scholarship in 2002 through gifts to the Kansas University Endowment Association. J. Mark Gidley is a former member of the KU debate team and competed on the 1983 National Championship squad.

Established in 1895, KU debate is one of the oldest and most notable public-policy debate programs in the country. KU ranks first in the nation among public universities for appearances at the National Debate Tournament.

KU Endowment is an independent, nonprofit organization that is the official fund-raising and fund-management foundation at KU. Founded in 1891, it is the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university and one of the largest.


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