Over 150 years old, the Villiger Speech and Debate Society has existed almost as long as the University. The team began as a debate program, but, over the years, the team has switched its primary focus to Limited Prep, Public Address, and Interpretation events. The team also competes in Lincoln-Douglas debate.
The Villiger coaching staff is comprised of alumni who return year after year to help the team in any and every capacity, including coaching, administrating, and helping to run the Villiger Tournament. Despite a strong and supportive background of alumni, the Villiger Team is mostly self-run. This fosters strong team unity, prepares members for the world after college by teaching them balance and responsibility, and allows students to shape the team’s vision while continuing in the prestigious tradition of the Society.
Each November, the team along with alumni runs The Villiger Tournament. The brainchild of Bill Janssen ’83, this event is the team’s community service project to the school, a fundraiser, and a valuable recruitment tool. Every year, the tournament brings hundreds of high school students from across the country onto Saint Joseph’s University’s campus and gives the team the privilege to share with others why it loves Philadelphia and Hawk Hill so much. Competitors at The Villiger Tournament reach deep outrounds and finals at NCFL and NFL Nationals each year.
The team motto and philosophy, “Victory Demonstrated Soundly”, reflects Villiger’s longstanding tradition of competitive excellence. The team competes at AFA and NFA Nationals. Just in the past decade, Villiger has had numerous students in final rounds of almost every speech event and several National Champions. These individual results further a more important goal—team success. The Saint Joseph’s University Villiger Team is a fixture in the NFA top 10 overall school sweepstakes as well as a mainstay in the top 20 at AFA Nationals.
The team is rich with history, success, and excellence. We hope you will choose to be a part of it.