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Happy Birthday to Samuel B. Gould - Champion Debater and Champion of Debate!

by Erik Fogel | Oct 11, 2017 7:00:00 AM |

Samuel B. Gould

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"If I were to choose any single activity in college which has contributed most to my career, I would certainly choose debating" (Hunt, p16). - Samuel B. Gould



October 11 would have been Samuel B. Gould's 107th birthday. This great American educator was born in 1910 and passed away in 1997.


Samuel Gould dedicated his life to working for educational access. He was known for encouraging non-traditional methods to increase accessibility for marginalized communities. One of his most prominent endeavors was to create educational TV, a concept commonly accepted today, but viewed skeptically in the mid-90s. He also promoted programs to help American students study abroad.


Gould graduated from Bates College. Then he briefly attended Oxford University but had to drop out due to financial difficulties. Nevertheless, he went on to get his Ph.D. from Harvard, teaching high school speech and debate while working on his degree. Then war broke out.


After serving as a Lt. Commander in the Navy during WWII, Gould returned to education. He continued to pursue his interest in speech by establishing Boston University's communications department. Speech and communications then became a tool for Samuel Gould to become an education advocate.


He became president of his own educational TV station WNDT, the first education station in New York. Gould later took on university leadership roles at University of California, Santa Barbara and the State University of New York, and continued to advocate for novel education projects, such as universities without walls. Through his efforts, several universities in New York were combined to create the current state system. It was during his time at SUNY that Gould made the cover of Time magazine, on the January 12, 1968 cover.


Samuel Gould was a visionary who didn't just think but acted on his dreams. His powerful voice allowed him to spark significant changes to America's education system. But every voice needs opportunities to grow. Grow your voice today by joining a debate league, where you'll learn to express yourself with confidence.


"My most important goal is to] achieve academic excellence equal to any in the nation." - Samuel B. Gould

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