HOUSTON- The TSU Debate Team will host a Roast and Toast for Dr. Thomas Freeman on June 27 on the TSU campus in the Tiger Room of the Sterling Student Life Center, to celebrate his 93rd birthday. The Virginia-born Freeman, who is a professor of psychology and philosophy, has taught at Texas Southern for 63 years. During in 69-year-long career, Freeman has lectured at Morehouse College, Virginia Union University (where he received a Bachelor of Arts), Houston Community College and Rice University. He was professor for the late Martin Luther King Jr. and Texas’ own Barbara Jordan, as well as the head coach of Texas Southern University’s internationally known Debate Team.
Freeman coached Denzel Washington in a two-day boot camp for the 2007 award-winning film, The Great Debaters. Washington said that he was searching for the best debate coach “in the world” and that God sent him to Freeman. For 40 years, Freeman has led the TSU debaters to the finals in all of the tournaments in which they have competed.
His education is just as globally diversified as the championships in which he and his students competed. He has even received degrees from Andover Newton Theological School, Harvard University, Chicago Divinity School, the University of Vienna in Austria and the University of Liberia in Africa. Outside of lecturing at TSU, Freeman is a minister and has served at churches in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Virginia. Currently, he is a minister at Mt. Horem Baptist Church located at 1915 Lockwood Drive.
When asked during an interview with The Final Call Newspaper, what has been his motivation, Freeman stated, “It’s not about trophies and awards. It’s the joy of seeing a young person evolve into greatness. That’s what drives me.”