Carol Wightman

Carol Wightman, a lecturer in theatre and communications studies at Cornell College for 25 years, died July 5, 2020, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She was 68.Carol-WightmanWightman directed the Cornell Speech Team from 1987 to 2012. She coached multiple students to the two major national championships —American Forensic Association National Individual Events Tournament and the National Forensic Association National Championship Tournament—throughout most of the 1990s. And among the team’s accomplishments was having two students in 2001 represent Iowa at the Interstate Oratory Competition, then the oldest and most prestigious intercollegiate speech championship. The persuasive speaking contest accepted two competitors from each state, and Cornell was one of only three colleges nationwide sending both competitors.

She served as officer-at-large in the Mid-America Forensics League, making Cornell the smallest college with representation on the League’s governing board.

Wightman earned a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Nebraska and a juris doctor from the Nebraska College of Law. She practiced law in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and later taught high school English. She and her husband adopted two babies from Korea before moving to Iowa, where she began her career at Cornell.

Survivors include her husband, Terry, their two children, and extended family.