|John C. Young Scholars spotlight: Les Fugate
RELEASED: May 16, 2002
DANVILLE, KY-Les Fugate of Prestonsburg is one of 10 Centre College seniors chosen this year for the John C. Young Scholars Program, a program that offers outstanding seniors an opportunity to engage in independent work, guided by faculty mentors, in their major discipline or in an interdisciplinary area of their choosing.
Fugate, in collaboration with David Anderson, associate professor of economics, chose to examine the economic impact of the 2000 U.S. Vice Presidential Debate held at Centre. (Centre is the smallest educational institution ever to host a televised General Election Debate.) The results of his research were presented at a symposium held Saturday, May 11, and will ultimately be published.
Fugate's study analyzed the debate's benefits, both in terms of the overall impression on individuals and the value of media coverage, and compared them to the actual cost of bringing the debate to the college. Much of the information for his research was obtained from surveys sent to students, prospective students, alumni, faculty and staff of the college and Danville residents. The data derived from the survey, combined with the dollar value of media coverage for the event, was then balanced against the costs.
The results of Fugate's research found that the good derived from those exposed to the debate totaled at least $265,494. The value derived from a conservative sampling of newsprint and television coverage exceeded $1,784,000. The cost of hosting the debate was $1,544,926, meaning that the benefits exceeded the cost by more than $500,000. Since approximately $1 million was donated by alumni and friends specifically to cover the cost of the debate, the benefit to the college was further enhanced.
Tom McCollough, professor of religion and chair of the John C. Young committee said, "This year's scholars were chosen from an unusually large list of applicants. I was impressed with the depth of the research and the effectiveness of the oral presentations."
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