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Commission on Presidential Debates eyes JU as host site

The Commission on Presidential Debates in Washington, D.C., has announced that Jacksonville University has been selected to be considered to host a Presidential or Vice Presidential debate in fall 2016. It is the first time the University has competed for one of the nationally televised events that occur just before the November election.

“We are humbled and honored to be considered as a host site and believe we are an ideal location, not only because Florida is a key state in national elections, but also because of our emerging role as a leader in public policy and discourse,” said JU President Tim Cost. “We’ve made an outstanding competitive bid highlighting our excellent facilities and resources, and are grateful to have very broad public, private and civic support.”

ju-logo-wave-magazineThe Commission (www.debates.org) announced the universities that are under consideration on Wednesday, April 1, and Jacksonville University is the only school from Florida to make the list of proposed sites. Such events typically bring wide international attention, thousands of media members and substantial economic impact to their host communities.

Jacksonville University’s infrastructure and facilities add strength to the University’s qualifications as a debate site, and the University will commit multiple venues across its 250-acre riverfront campus to serve the staff, media and administrative needs for an event of this stature, Cost added.

“We have a proud tradition over our 80-year history of hosting presidents, vice presidents, Nobel laureates, world leaders, politicians, artists and great thinkers, and competing for a debate will make us a better and more relevant University,” he said. “We have a beautiful campus that will help showcase the City of Jacksonville, and we look forward to the next steps in the evaluation process.”

The Commission is expected to announce final locations this fall.

The following are other sites being considered:

  • Belmont University, Nashville
  • City of Birmingham, Birmingham
  • City of McAllen, McAllen, Texas
  • Dominican University of California, San Rafael, Calif.
  • Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, Ky.
  • Georgia College & State University, Milledgeville, Ga.
  • Hofstra University, Hempstead, N.Y.
  • Houston Community College, Houston
  • Longwood University, Farmville, Va.
  • State University of New York Rockland Community College (SUNY RCC) in partnership with Rockland Debates 2016, Suffern, N.Y.
  • Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas
  • University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Las Vegas
  • Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis
  • West Virginia University and West Virginia State University, Charleston, W.Va.
  • Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio

About Jacksonville University

Jacksonville University works to prepare each of its more than 4,000 students for lifelong success in learning, achieving, leading and serving. Its 250-acre riverfront campus is just minutes from downtown Jacksonville and the Atlantic Ocean. The private university has been named one of “America’s Best Colleges” for 11 straight years, and ranks in the top 1% among all Florida colleges for Return on Investment for its graduates. With a 12 to 1 student-faculty ratio and full-time faculty percentage of 80 percent, it offers small class sizes, inviting campus grounds and engaged faculty and staff in a setting that promotes community, ambition and responsibility. JU has nearly 200 full-time faculty and offers more than 70 majors, programs and concentrations. Additionally, it offers graduate degrees in business, choreography, education leadership, marine science, mathematics, nursing, orthodontics, public policy and speech-language pathology. JU is accredited by, among others, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI) and Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).