[eDebate] James Unger - From Bill Smelko

Duane Hyland privethedge
Sat Apr 5 13:46:36 CDT 2008

Mr. Smelko gave me permission to post his Cross-X.com comments on Dr. Unger to this list as he is not a member of edebate....
  ?If you know your history, then you know where you are coming from.? [i]Buffalo Soldiers

Dr. Glass? e-debate post reprinted above by Mr. Ballingal should be read in conjunction with Professor Tribe?s memorial tribute posted to e-debate by 1974 NDT Champion Greg Rosenbaum of Harvard.

Posted on behalf of Laurence H. Tribe, 15th NDT Champion and Coach of the 
23rd NDT Champion, a remembrance of James J. Unger: 

"For most of us during the crucial decade and a half starting in the 
mid-1970s - the decade in which many of us came of age or settled into our 
lifetime careers - Jimmy Unger WAS debate, debate as high art, debate as 
ritual, debate as relentless analysis, debate as bloodless battle. He lived 
it, breathed it, epitomized it, enjoyed it, perfected it, practiced it, and 
made it a permanent part of our lives. For all of that, and for the 
inestimable wit and twinkling wisdom that Jimmy exuded for so many years, we will all owe him a huge and permanent debt. May his memory live forever in and through those of us who cared about him and who were lucky enough to be his friends. 

Larry Tribe"

Terry Schuman?s suggestion of including Jim Unger in the Mt. Rushmore of debate giants is also an apt tribute given the impact that Professor Unger had on the development of modern debate theory and practice. 

For many of us who debated in the mid-late1960?s and 1970?s, Jim Unger was an imposing intellectual giant whose love of competitive success was exceeded only by his capacity to grow debate as an activity, and encourage in student competitors an abiding love of and for the activity. Many of today?s finest coaches and teachers at the High School and College levels can trace their roots directly to Professor Unger and/or the Georgetown Institute of the early-late 1970?s. 

The number of debaters who Professor Unger helped on their way to law school and graduate programs includes former debaters from not just Georgetown, but also from a variety of colleges and universities across the country. I was very lucky to have met Jim, been judged by him often, known him as a mentor and also to have been his friend. I last saw Jim during a visit to the GDS Tournament a couple years ago and even then, as his health was deteriorating, my visit with him was memorable for me because of his unfailing sense of humor and ever present memory of great times past and of the great people who he called friends.

My sympathies and prayers go out to his closest friends, many of whom are also people who helped young debaters grow into better thinkers and more mature human beings. 

The debate world is lesser today on the passing of Jim Unger, but perhaps the beautiful words of Dr. Glass, Professor Tribe and many others who remember Jim Unger well will live in debate?s history books so future generations of debaters will know that, in large part, the evolutionary concepts that each new generation will add to the activity will be coming from the ideas, intellectual curiosity, innovative genius and true generosity of Jim Unger. May he rest in peace.

        "You may be whatever you resolve to be." Thomas J. Jackson"
 "If all mankind minus one were of one opinion and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that person that he, if he had the power, would be in silencing mankind
 If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth; if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by  its collision with error." John S. Mill
  Who said Dr. Who isn't Funny: "Rose: You Didn't Have to Kill him! Dalek: "Neither did we need him to live."
Dalek to Cyberman: :"You are Superior to us in one respect." Cyberman: "What is that?" Dalek: "Dying!"


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