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Date: Apr 15, 2011
Hofstra University Submits Application to Host 2012 Presidential Debate
Hofstra University President Stuart Rabinowitz announced that Hofstra University has submitted a formal application to the Commission on Presidential Debates to host a 2012 presidential debate. Hofstra University was the host of the third and final presidential debate between President Barack Obama and Senator John McCain on October 15, 2008.
Earlier this month, the Commission on Presidential Debates released the list of submitted applications, and of the 12 applications received from across the country, Hofstra University's is the only application from New York state.
"Hosting the debate in 2008 was a remarkable experience for our entire community. Our students, faculty and alumni were proud to host one of the most important events of the presidential election," said President Rabinowitz. "Hofstra University's size, location and facilities make our campus an ideal setting for a presidential debate, and allows our students a rare and extraordinary opportunity to participate in the democratic process."
Hofstra University has again proposed the David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex ("the Arena") as the venue for the debate, and the adjoining Physical Fitness Center as home for the media center and supporting services for the Commission on Presidential Debates. Other Hofstra University facilities have been selected for support services for media and visitors.
Since its opening in 1999, the 31,000 square-foot (at floor level) Arena has been the site of hundreds of events, including the 2008 presidential debate, the 2010 New York State Gubernatorial Debate, and former President Bill Clinton's keynote address at Hofstra's eleventh presidential conference, "William Jefferson Clinton: The 'New' Democrat from Hope." The Arena, a uniquely flexible and modern facility, has also hosted galas, commencements and graduations, festivals and trade shows, the New York State Special Olympics, the LI-FIRST Robotics Competition, concerts and hundreds of sporting events.
As part of the application process, Hofstra University sought cooperation from many segments of the Long Island region and received letters in support of the debate from local elected officials, including Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray and Village of Hempstead Mayor Wayne Hall, Hofstra faculty and student leaders and regional service providers.
In addition, the University's academic programs are particularly well-suited to the programs and activities of an academic debate site. "Hofstra's emphasis on academic disciplines such as presidential studies and suburban studies is a unique connection between the debate, American culture and history, and Hofstra's scholarly strengths," noted President Rabinowitz. In 2008, the University hosted the award-winning Educate '08, a year-long series of lectures, classes and events focused on the issues and history of presidential campaigns and debates.
In 2006, Hofstra University launched the Peter S. Kalikow Center for the Study of the American Presidency, led by Dr. Meena Bose, to build on the scholarship of the renowned presidential conference series hosted by the University since 1977. The National Center for Suburban Studies, led by Executive Dean Larry Levy, was launched in 2003, incorporating the existing Long Island Studies Institute, to study the unique issues of the suburbs, now home to more than 50% of all Americans. The Center studies the suburbs through the lens of the "laboratory" of Hofstra's surrounding area, which includes Levittown, America's "first suburb," and often publishes national polls focusing on the political climate of the suburbs nationally.
About Hofstra University
Hofstra University is a dynamic private institution of higher education where more than 12,000 full and part-time students choose from undergraduate and graduate offerings in liberal arts and sciences, business, engineering, communication, education, health and human services, honors studies, a School of Law and the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine.