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20th Anniversary Northeast Great Debate

Presenting the Northeast Great Debate 

July 11th - 16th 2023

Through the years, NHI has cultivated relations with a significant number of universities, mostly private, as reference possibilities when selecting their preferences. As members of NHI’s College Register, these institutions are located throughout the U.S. and usually attend NHI college fairs and admission workshops that give them one-on-one communication with NHI students. 

On different occasions some of these institutions go a step further. They realize the importance of placing young minds in environments that excite the possibilities of college and make higher education real in their lives. They allow for a regional home to be established and a more NHI communities to be formed.

For the 2nd year,  Saint Francis University will host the 2023 Northeast Great Debate. Established in 2003, the Northeast Great Debate celebrates 20 years in Pennsylvania. In Loretto, Pennsylvania, Great Debate students will go through a journey to improve their language skills and word management while working together to bring home the championship. For well over a decade, the Northeast Great Debate has attracted students from all over the Mid-Atlantic U.S., New England, the D.C./Maryland/Virginia corridor, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Panama, and the Dominican Republic. Expect a multilingual, multicultural, and multinational experience at St. Francis' Great Debate.

2022 Northeast Great Debate students (above) preparing for the Team Rally. Click the link (left) to view the 2022 program slideshow. 

About Saint Francis University

Nestled on a beautiful 600-acre mountaintop vista in Loretto, Pennsylvania, just 90-minutes East of Pittsburgh. 

Faith, generosity, respect, discovery, and joy are in our DNA attracting students (like you) with a passion to shape the world. We are the oldest Franciscan university in the nation and like our namesake, St. Francis of Assisi, students discover a path of mission, purpose, and personal values. 

High-demand programs are offered in health sciences, business, education, arts, and STEM fields. Programs combine rigorous, career-directed studies with a focus on personal and professional ethics. Students go on to become leaders, visionaries, teachers, and healers in a wide array of professions and industries -- and they carry their Franciscan values with them always. In fact, in a recent survey of our Class of 2020, 90% of graduates feel that Saint Francis University was instrumental in developing their faith and/or values for life after college! (From

Saint Francis and NHI are also committed to investing in youth from their PEACE Partnership Program school membership. Learn about more about this innovative community endeavor.

About Loretto Pennsylvania

Loretto is a borough in Cambria County, Pennsylvania, United States. It is officially part of the Johnstown, Pennsylvania Metropolitan Statistical Area as recognized by the US Census Bureau, but local sources list it as part of the Altoona, Pennsylvania Area due to its proximity to Altoona and usage of Altoona over Johnstown for local services.

Loretto was founded in 1799 by Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin as the first English-speaking Roman Catholic settlement west of the Allegheny Front. He named it after the town of Loreto, Italy, site of a Catholic place of pilgrimage. Loretto was built adjoining the original settlement founded by Captain Michael McGuire, a Revolutionary War veteran, in 1788.[3] In his will, Captain McGuire donated land to the Catholic Church on which Prince Gallitzin built St. Michael's Church in 1799. (From

The climate of the area is agreeable and perfect for a getaway trip to reflect and enjoy the serenity that the area provides. Loretto is also known for their beautiful architecture and relaxing gardens. Take a break from it all and unwind at Loretto!

Prominent Alumni


What is included in the Great Debate tuition?

The registration amount for the 6-day Great Debate includes meals, housing, t-shirt, supplies, materials, and the full Great Debate leadership experience.  

  • A $25 non refundable application fee is required for NHI to review applications.
  • Once admitted, we will bill you for the first $150 non-refundable security deposit.
  • The final payment of $625 will be billed in a lump sum according to whether students applied under Early Admission, Regular Admission, or in Late Admission.  Any student wanting "payments" rather than a "lump sum" must contact and ask for a payment plan.

Refund policy is as follows:

Link to the main page for information

After successfully completing the program, students often reflect on the experience as a space where they felt free to express themselves, their ideas, and honed their skills. They felt culturally embraced, understood, and valued. At the Great Debate, they began to see themselves as playing a leadership role wherever life would take them, whether at home, in school, in a career, or in service to others. Most of all, they felt special in knowing that leadership is a life-long calling in which they will have a special role to play with NHI.

View archival footage of other NHI Great Debate projects below.

The Northeast Great Debate is proudly sponsored in part by TE Connectivity.

National Hispanic Institute

P.O. Box 220
Maxwell, Texas 78656

+1 (512) 357-6137

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