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Date: Sep 15, 2008
Hofstra Preps for Historic Presidential Debate on October 15, 2008
Arena takes shape as debate hall, Media Center created for candidates, campaigns and thousands of journalistsHofstra University, Hempstead, NY – Hofstra's David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex is being transformed into a debate hall for the third and final 2008 presidential debate on October 15, 2008.
The work at the arena is part of the elaborate preparations by Hofstra required to host this historic event. The presidential debates are presented by the non-partisan Commission on Presidential Debates. The debate at Hofstra is sponsored locally by the Peter S. Kalikow Center for the Study of the American Presidency and The John D. Miller Fund at the Long Island Community Foundation. The Hofstra debate, which will focus on economic policy and domestic issues, will be moderated by Bob Schieffer, CBS News chief Washington correspondent and "Face the Nation" host.
Hofstra crews are busy preparing the arena as well as the adjacent Physical Fitness Center, which will serve as the Media Center for thousands of journalists from across the country and around the world who will cover the debate. Hofstra employees and student volunteers will staff the Media Center and other locations across campus.
Leading up to the debate and the 2008 election, Hofstra is proud to host Educate '08, an unprecedented series of lectures, conferences, artistic performances and exhibitions, town hall meetings and interactive forums focused on the issues, history and politics of presidential elections. Educate '08 provides our students, faculty and the entire surrounding community with access to the newsmakers, scholars and policymakers who have unique insight and knowledge of the American political system. Many of the programs and events are free and open to the public.
The fall series of programs kicked off September 9 with a panel on "Economic Issues Facing the Presidency" featuring former U.S. Treasury Secretaries Paul O’Neill and Robert Rubin and moderated by Floyd Norris, chief financial correspondent for The New York Times and The International Herald Tribune. On Sept. 10, Dr. Shashi Tharoor, former Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and renowned author, spoke on "Restoring America's Image in the World: The Public Diplomacy Challenge."
Programs scheduled for this fall include today’s program featuring George Stephanopoulos, former advisor to President Bill Clinton, chief Washington correspondent for ABC News and anchor of ABC’s Sunday morning program, This Week with George Stephanopoulos.; a program featuring Lou Dobbs Tonight panelists Michael Goodwin, Edward Rollins and Robert Zimmerman (September 16); and former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo and Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations (October 2).
In addition, more than 30 academic courses are being offered this fall dealing with the presidential election, the issues in the campaign, political parties and the voter.
Also planned at Hofstra in advance of the presidential debate:
- Hofstra Rocks the Debate, a concert run by our students on the Saturday before the debate (Jason Mraz, who makes sure his concert leaves no carbon footprint) featuring all of our political and civic clubs.
- A series of town hall meetings, some Web cast, one on WNYC, one on WLIW, on domestic policy issues, some based in youth issues, some are intergenerational.
- A National Issues Forum, based on the Kettering Foundation work on issues, for high school students.
- A faculty speakers bureau for our community.
- 1776 the musical!
- Democracy in Performance, a series of live performances of some of American history's greatest moments, the day before the debate.
- Our fifth Day of Dialogue, featuring about 50 issues-based programs in one day (set for two days before the first debate at Ole Miss) coordinated by our Center for Civic Engagement.
- A retrospective of our 11 presidential conferences and a Hofstra Museum exhibit about those conferences.
A full schedule of Educate '08 events and courses can be found at www.hofstra.edu/educate08
Hofstra University is a dynamic private institution where students can choose from about 140 undergraduate and 155 graduate programs in liberal arts and sciences, business, communication, education and allied human services, and honors studies, as well as a School of Law. With a student-faculty ratio of 14-to-1, our professors teach small classes averaging 22 students that emphasize interaction, critical thinking and analysis. Hofstra offers a faculty whose highest priority is teaching excellence. The University also provides excellent facilities with state-of-the-art technology, extensive library resources and internship programs that match students’ interests and abilities with appropriate companies and organizations. The Hofstra community is driven, dynamic and energetic, helping students find and focus their strengths to prepare them for a successful future.