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Faculty to square off in Academic Smack Down

Three academic disciplines. Three Randolph College professors. Only one will survive! Randolph will host its first-ever Academic Smack Down Wednesday, September 7, at 7:30 p.m. in Smith Hall Theatre.

The Academic Smack Down is the ultimate showdown between the academic disciplines at Randolph, each of which will be championed by a feisty faculty member. Sociology professor Danielle Currier will represent the social sciences, physics professor Peter Sheldon will represent the sciences, and English professor Gary Dop will represent the arts and humanities. Gordon Steffey, the Barbara Boyle Lemon ’57 and William J. Lemon Associate Professor of Religion and Philosophy, will play the role of devil’s advocate, and make the case for why each contestant and their discipline should “die.”

Wes Fugate, Randolph’s vice president and chief of staff, will delight the audience as the host and moderator during the contestants’ debates and, with input from the audience, choose the winner. Fans of The Hunger Games might draw comparisons between Fugate’s character and that of Caesar Flickerman, the flamboyantly dressed host of the deadly spectacle in the movies.

The victor in the Academic Smack Down will receive a championship belt that they can either wear with pride or display in their office to showcase their academic dominance.

This playful debate is designed to help students understand the value of a broad liberal arts education. In addition to bravely stepping into the competition as a contestant, Dop has helped organize the special event as a unique part of the College’s 125th anniversary celebration.

“I think everyone who comes out for this will get to laugh a lot and get to enjoy the craziness of their professors in a ridiculously volatile and playful debate,” Dop said. “None of us like to lose!”

See the results at

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