UNT Debate members competed at Rice University in Houston in debate and speech September 25-26, 2015, bringing home trophies and rankings to Denton. In parliamentary debate, 2 teams place in the top 8. Sophomores Garrett Hammonds, Communication Studies, and Abron Hester, Political Science, placed in the quarterfinals after defeating Texas Southern, Tyler Junior College, and Abilene Christian University. Freshman Maggie McGehee, Political Science, and Sophomore Derrian Doblado, Economics, also competed in the quarterfinals after beating Wiley College and two different teams from Tyler Junior College. Hammonds and Hester lost to Abilene Christian in the quarterfinals and McGehee and Doblado lost to the home team from Rice. Even though it was her first college debate tournament, McGehee was named the tournament's second best overall speaker.
Rice also marked UNT's return to individual speaking events. Individual Events, which do not emphasize debate's direct clash in argument, focus on the speaking ability of the competitors. UNT stopped formally competing in this activity around 1975 but has returned to competition in 2015. Garrett Hammonds spoke in competitive poetry and Abron Hester competed in impromptu speaking. Despite the long absence, Hester placed in the top 12 in Impromptu giving UNT a National Forensic ranking for the first time in decades.
Sixteen schools from across Texas and Louisiana competed at the Rice University Classic. UNT's return to events and continued success in debate begin the season in a strong fashion.