Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Hofstra Chosen to Host 2012 Presidential Debate

"Hofstra gave me an edge in numerous ways. The information I learned, from geographic information systems to hydrogeology and sedimentation, gave me a competitive advantage in my career. The professors of the Geology Department also maintain a close relationship with alumni. Dr. J Bret Bennington was directly responsible for my current employment. He not only encouraged me to attend a networking dinner engagement, which eventually led to an interning opportunity, but also drove me to the interview when I did not have a car." — President Stuart Rabinowitz.

The Commission on Presidential Debates announced on October 31, 2011, that it had chosen Hofstra University for the site of its October 16, 2012, presidential debate, which will be in the "town meeting" format. The Commission on Presidential Debates, a nonprofit, nonpartisan corporation, has sponsored and produced every presidential and vice presidential debate since 1988. The Commission's selection of Hofstra has made the University one of only two schools to host back-to-back presidential debates. Hofstra University hosted the third and final presidential debate of the 2008 election cycle, between then-Senator Barack Obama and Senator John McCain, on October 15, 2008. "I am absolutely delighted that the Commission has chosen to return to Hofstra University for one of America's most important political events," said Hofstra University President Stuart Rabinowitz. "It was an extraordinary experience for our students and faculty in 2008 and allowed our community to witness, firsthand, the democratic process. I am so pleased that another generation of Hofstra students will be able to witness history and become involved in an active and meaningful way." The University will again host an election-themed event series to inspire and engage students. "During the last presidential election, Educate '08, our award-winning event series, gave students the opportunity to learn from some of our country's greatest political minds and journalists, to travel to primary sites, or to volunteer or intern with political or media organizations; and it touched students and faculty in almost every academic discipline," said President Rabinowitz. "We will use our experience and every opportunity to involve students, faculty and the community in this historic event." President Rabinowitz also announced that David S. Mack '67, Hofstra alumnus and secretary of the Board of Trustees, has made a commitment to help underwrite the cost of hosting the 2012 presidential debate. "The generosity of David Mack allows us to host an event of this magnitude, benefitting thousands of students and showcasing our great University, without using tuition dollars. We are grateful for his leadership and commitment to Hofstra and the democratic process." Hofstra University will again use the David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex as the venue for the debate, and the adjoining Mack Physical Education Center as home for the media center, which will host hundreds of journalists from around the world and all the major networks, as well as support services for the Commission on Presidential Debates. Other Hofstra University facilities have been selected for support services for media and visitors. The University once again received unanimous support from local, regional, statewide and federal officials, as well as all local and regional public agencies. Coverage of the 2008 debate at Hofstra may be found at hofstra.edu/debate. Information about the 2012 debate schedule and site selection process may be found at the website for the Commission on Presidential Debates at debates.org.


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