Regents’ Cup: Arizona companies support competition showcasing free speech at Arizona’s public universities

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Regents’ Cup: Arizona companies support competition showcasing free speech at Arizona’s public universities

April 13, 2021

Arizona companies and individuals have signed on to sponsor the Regents’ Cup competition, including Arizona Public Service Company and Arizona Strategies as platinum sponsors of the virtual event. The Regents’ Cup debate competition celebrates free speech, civil discourse and democratic engagement at Arizona’s public universities. 

Participants in the Regents’ Cup compete for scholarships to advance their education at the universities. Sponsors’ support for the virtual event that will take place April 24 include:  

  • Platinum Sponsors:  Arizona Public Service Company, Arizona Strategies 
  • Gold Sponsor: Salt River Project
  • Silver Sponsors: Arizona Community Foundation, Arizona General Contractors, W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc. 
  • Bronze Sponsors: Community Foundation for Southern Arizona, Tucson Electric Power Company
  • Contributor: Southwest Gas

“Our sponsors are proud supporters of free speech at Arizona’s public universities. With their support, the Regents’ Cup will be able to award scholarships to our student competitors who will compete in debates while showcasing freedom of expression during this event that is known for civility and respect among competitors,” said Regent Karrin Taylor Robson, who envisioned the competition. “We sincerely appreciate the generosity of our sponsors.”

Arizona’s public universities are recognized as exemplars in free speech; Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University and the University of Arizona are all recognized with the highest rating from FIRE (the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education). 

“This tri-university debate competition honors participants for articulating different points of view in an environment that demonstrates the importance and value of informed, civil discourse,” said Stacy Derstine, APS Vice President of External Affairs. “The students have put in a tremendous amount of work, and APS is proud to support them and the program.”

Students participating in the Regents’ Cup will compete in the debate-style competition during an event illustrating the commitment of the universities to upholding the intrinsic rights of all students to freedom of speech. Student teams will participate in rounds of persuasive storytelling and Oxford-style debate. Judges - including policymakers, civic leaders and educators - will score the teams and declare first, second, third and fourth-place winners.

“The students who participate in the Regents’ Cup exemplify the value of freedom of speech,” said Molly Greene, SRP’s Senior Director of Arizona Government Relations and Public Policy. “SRP is proud to support their commitment to civil discourse and respect for opposing viewpoints.”

In honor of the historic tradition of debate on public university campuses, the Regents’ Cup instills leadership in students and teaches skills such as articulating different points of view in an environment where competitors remain civil.

“This event celebrates a core tenet of our constitution and our universities commitment to freedom of expression. Our sponsors provide invaluable support for this event, and I’m grateful to Regent Taylor Robson for her dedication to the Regents’ Cup, free speech and respectful debate on our university campuses,” said ABOR Chair Larry E. Penley.




Sarah Harper, 602-229-2542, 602-402-1341 |
Julie Newberg, 602-229-2534 |