The 2023 Great Communicator Debate finalists

(SIMI VALLEY, Calif.) — NEWS: The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute is proud to announce the start of the 2024 season for the Great Communicator Debate Series (GCDS). The debate competition features a series of regional competitions across America culminating in the National Championship hosted at The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California. Finalists compete to receive their share of $50,000 in college scholarships.

This year two additional regional competitions have been added in Orlando, Florida and Orange County, California at the Nixon Presidential Library. This season’s competition will feature stops in Los Angeles, Dallas, Kansas City, Richmond, New York, Portland, Orlando and Orange County, California. Additionally, two online competitions will provide access to high school speech and debate students virtually, regardless of their location.

“We are delighted to be adding two new locations this season to our regional competitions line-up,” stated Director of Learning and Engagement, Megan Gately. “And the state of Florida is of particular significance because it’s one of a handful of states that require debate in its core curriculum.”

“The Great Communicator Debate Series is designed to showcase the logic and persuasion skills of high school students across the country,” reported Janet Tran, Director of the Center of Civics, Education and Opportunity at the Ronald Reagan Institute. “Engaging in civil discourse through debate, where students learn that every issue has multiple sides, empowers them to be well-rounded citizens who can express their views and respect the views of others – just as President Reagan did.”

The competitions will be held between March-June of 2024, dates to be released shortly, please check our website at

We happily acknowledge our partners without whom we could not present our nationwide debate series. Special thanks to: George W. Bush Presidential Museum, Southern Methodist University, The Harry S. Truman Presidential Library, The Richard Nixon Presidential Library, The Richmond Forum, The Roosevelt Center at Long Island University and the National Speech and Debate Association.

About the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute:

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute is the sole nonprofit organization created by President Reagan charged with continuing his legacy and sharing his principles – individual liberty, economic opportunity, global democracy and national pride. The Foundation is a non-partisan organization which sustains the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, CA, the Reagan Center for Public Affairs, the Presidential Learning Center, The Air Force One Pavilion, the award-winning Reagan Leadership Center, and the Reagan Institute, which carries out the Foundation’s mission in Washington, D.C.

The Reagan Library houses over 55 million pages of Gubernatorial, Presidential and personal papers and over 60,000 gifts and artifacts chronicling the lives of Ronald and Nancy Reagan. It also serves as the final resting place of America’s 40th President and former First Lady Nancy Reagan.

About Reagan Education:

Reagan Education is a part of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute. It is home to world-class educational programs serving middle school through university learning levels and develops curricula designed for teachers, school districts and homeschools. Reagan Education also delivers some of the most well-regarded scholarship programs for high school seniors, including the nationally-recognized GE-Reagan Scholarship and the Reagan Foundation Scholars Program.

Attached is a list of the programs offered through Reagan Education:


Student Leadership Program

A week long summer program where students take action in their communities, make new friends, and have fun while developing leadership skills.

Reagan Leadership Medal

Award recognizing outstanding achievements of America’s graduating high school seniors who best exemplify drive, humility, and service before self.


GE Reagan Foundation Scholarship Program

$40,000 scholarships awarded nationally to students who exemplify leadership, drive, integrity, and citizenship.

Reagan Foundation Scholars Program

$50,000 in scholarships distributed to Ventura County, CA students who showcase character, leadership, communication skills, and commitment to the local community.

Great Communicator Debate Series

$50,000 in scholarships awarded through a series of debate competitions across the United States for students who are interested in influence and debate.


Reagan Leadership Summit

Annual leadership conference for students by students. Hear from speakers making change in their communities, learn new leadership tools and strategies, and expand networks by meeting fellow students from across the country.

University Internships

Paid summer positions available on-site at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library that focus on facilitation and mentoring our middle and high school level Student Leadership Programs.

Academy for Civic Education and Democracy

An accredited 8-week summer program in Washington, D.C. University-level students will learn history both within and beyond the classroom while embarking on their leadership journey with confidence and tangible experiences.


Reagan Leadership Center

Award-winning, immersive, learning experience that builds leadership and communication skills for participants of all ages, offered both in-person and virtually.

Classroom Resources

Free curricula, supplemental resources, and virtual videos of special guest speakers designed by our subject matter experts on civics, leadership, the presidency and more.

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