Released: Jan. 6, 2000, after 10 a.m.
Commission on Presidential Debates - www.debates.org
DANVILLE, KY - Centre College is one of four sites chosen to host a general election debate in 2000, according to an announcement made this morning in Washington, D.C., by the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD). According to today's announcement, Centre will host a debate for vice presidential candidates on Thursday, Oct. 5, in the college's Norton Center for the Arts in Danville.
The complete debate series
is as follows:
Alternate sites are University of Wisconsin at Madison and the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times.
Each of the debates will begin at 9 p.m. Eastern time, and the CPD plans to use a variety of formats over the course of the series. The particular format for the vice presidential debate at Centre was not specified in today's announcement.
Centre had submitted a mid-summer application to become a debate host site and in mid October was named to a list of 12 finalists under active consideration as debate hosts. The college touted the appeal of having a debate in a "quintessential American small town," and, with the college's selection, Danville (population 18,000) becomes one of the smallest towns ever to host a debate.
The CPD's co-chairmen, Paul Kirk and Frank Fahrenkopf, spoke this morning on behalf of the commission's 11-member governing board, which met Wednesday to agree on details concerning this year's debates.
Centre followed the Washington press conference with a 10:30 a.m. campus press conference featuring college president John Roush. Roush said he was elated with the Commission's decision and excited about the prospects for the college, the community and the region. "I've known since my first day on campus that Centre is capable of hosting a debate," said Roush, who helped organize a 1992 presidential debate at the University of Richmond where he was vice president. (He became president of Centre on July 1, 1998). "The intellectual climate at Centre is first-rate, and the Norton Center facilities make it ideal as a debate hall."
Roush added words of praise for local and state civic leaders who enthusiastically endorsed the college as a debate site. "We've had support from Gov. Paul Patton, commitments from public leaders at all levels, interest from news media across the state, and beautiful letters from area school children," Roush noted. "Their efforts and their civic spirit have made it clear that Danville and the state of Kentucky are an ideal place for candidates to address important political issues."
"For all these reasons," Roush concluded, "I am confident we can put together a first-rate experience for the debate team and the commission. Centre can make this a smashing success."
The Commission on Presidential Debates sponsored and produced the presidential and vice presidential debates in 1988, 1992 and 1996. The CPD was established in 1987 as the result of two formal studies, one by the Commission on National Elections and another by the Twentieth Century Fund (Century Foundation). Both panels recommended the establishment of a permanent, independent debate sponsor. The nonpartisan, nonprofit CPD was created with a two-fold mandate: to sponsor general election presidential and vice presidential debates and to undertake educational and research efforts related to the debates.
Centre College was founded in 1819 and currently is cited by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 50 liberal arts colleges in the United States. The college has a 1:11 faculty:student ratio and maintains residential international study sites in England, France, and Latin America. The Norton Center for the Arts is among the state's best venues in the performing arts, with a concert hall that seats 1,500 and an intimate theater with seating for 300. The center brings touring Broadway shows, international symphony orchestras and individual performers to the campus and the region. The series for the current year features, among other performers, the Boston Pops, Dionne Warwick, the Beach Boys, the Beaux Arts Trio and touring productions of Annie and Camelot.
The quality of the Centre experience is affirmed by alumni, who have registered the highest rate of alumni giving in the nation for 12 of the last 14 years.
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Coordinator of public
information: Patsi Barnes Trollinger