Alumni Spotlight: Ed Foster

From 1974 to 1976, Ed Foster was a force on the nationally recognized Florida Technological University debate team.

During those years, he paired up with fellow debaters Dave Larkin and later Pat Jerome to attack the intercollegiate forensics circuit.  Attending around 14 tournaments a year, Ed estimates that he and his
partners made it to the elimination rounds in at least 10 of those showings each season. He and Jerome won the Southeast District Tournament during the ’75-’76 season and consequently earned a trip to the National Debate Tournament in 1976.

“Debate did help me enormously in polishing my speaking and argument skills, and in introducing
me to a whole cast of characters − teammates, opponents and coaches from across the nation, and
[coach] Jeff Butler − whose differing backgrounds, cultures, experiences, worldviews, and personalities opened up whole new vistas to this Alabama-born, Ocoee-bred, naive young kid.”

After going on to the University of Florida to attain a law degree in 1979, Ed became an attorney and
shareholder at the Akerman Senterfitt firm; a position he still holds today. He resides a mere
four miles from his forensics alma mater in Oviedo, Fla.

“In a very real sense, debate has been responsible for much of the professional success I have enjoyed
in my career as a commercial litigation attorney. When I interviewed at Akerman − now one of America’s 200 largest law firms − while still in law school, my debate experience caught the eye of one of our senior partners, who had himself been a college debater some years before. My debate experience and success, and the fact that his old partner, Tenny Williams, was the coach at Wake Forest and knew me and apparently spoke well of me, cemented the firm’s decision to hire me all those years ago.”

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