Patrick Henry College’s Forensics Program is Creating Pathways to the Highest Levels of American Leadership

Patrick Henry College's Forensics Program is Creating Pathways to the Highest Levels of American Leadership

Purcellville, VA, March 05, 2024 — Patrick Henry College (PHC) students Ainsley Stellman and Jason Chahyadi won 2nd place in Oral Argument at the 2023-34 American Moot Court Association’s National Tournament (AMTA) this month. Additionally, PHC’s Calvin Huh and Trinity Klomparens won 1st place in Brief Writing as Petitioner.

PHC finished the season with 4 out of the top-10 teams in the nation (Ainsley and Jason as 2nd, Trinity and Calvin as 3rd, Sarah Fox and Finn Buck as 6th, and Andrew Bleiler and James Elliot as 10th). This is Calvin’s second year winning top brief, making him one of only three PHC students to win the award more than once! PHC has won 13 of the past 19 AMCA National Tournament championships in Oral Argument and 14 championships for brief writing in the same period.

A total of 477 teams representing 113 colleges and universities competed in oral argument this season and ultimately UC Berkeley took the final round in a split decision in the finals over Ainsley and Jason from PHC on February 9-10, 2024 at Texas Tech. “Seven of PHC’s twelve pre-national teams earned a bid to the national championship—the only school to achieve such results,” explains Sue Johnson, Director of the PHC Forensics Program. “All four of our allotted national teams excelled by advancing to elimination rounds. Kudos to our students and coaches on this accomplishment, which was the result of much hard work and a true collaborative spirit.”

Peter Kamakawiwole, Head Coach for the PHC Moot Court Program summarized an exciting season saying, “I was incredibly proud of how the entire team prepared and competed this season. We greatly appreciate all of your encouragement, prayers, and acts of service to us throughout the season. I’m excited to see what next season brings.”

“Although a young college with approximately 400 students, PHC continues its unparalleled track record of success in placing alumni in top graduate programs, law schools, and every level of government,” said Jack W. Haye, PHC’s president. “PHC alumni have argued before the Supreme Court of the United States and served in the White House in various capacities, including press secretary of the Vice President. PHC has had more graduates clerk for the U.S. Supreme Court than any other evangelical Christian college in the nation.”

Just this past July, PHC alumna Claire (Rossell) Cahill began her clerkship for the US Supreme Court under Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Cahill graduated from Patrick Henry College in 2014 with a degree in Government. “PHC exposed me to law for the first time, and I discovered that I loved it,” Cahill remarked. “The classical liberal arts core curriculum helped me build strong critical thinking skills,” preparing her not only for law school but also for her current position.

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