Debate forms the core of a healthy American democracy. Over the years, the Arthur N. Rupe Foundation has provided grants to support an array of debate programs. The foundation is committed to advancing civil and structured debate as a means of discussing the vital issues of our time. Grant recipients include

James Madison University Foundation

The James Madison Day Commemorative Debate and Citizenship Forum (aka The Madison Cup) will be celebrating its eighteenth anniversary in 2019. The Madison Cup is the premiere public debate event in the country and the only competition which brings together individuals from all of the major debate organizations to discuss issues of importance to American democracy. The Arthur N. Rupe Foundation has been the primary sponsor of this debate competition since 2010.

National Speech and Debate Association

The Rupe Foundation supports the National Speech and Debate Association in order to promote public forum debate in our nation’s high schools. The foundation sponsors the Public Forum Championships at the NSDA Speech & Debate National Tournament, providing 28 scholarships annually to the top-placing student debaters. provides rigorous, authoritative, nonpartisan information on the pros, cons, and background of controversial issues. Its grant is used to support the Arthur N. Rupe Debate Series in Los Angeles. This series includes PRO/CON at The Pier, a month-long series of free public debates at the historic Santa Monica Pier.

UC Santa Barbara

The Arthur N. Rupe Foundation has made a major grant to establish a series of debates that brings great minds from a variety of fields and disciplines to UCSB and the Santa Barbara community. The Arthur N. Rupe Great Debate Series explores contemporary societal issues of national and international significance through the presentation of eminent figures who hold divergent viewpoints.