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University of Denver To Host First 2012 Presidential Debate

DU lands Colorado’s first-ever Presidential Debate

DENVER – The University of Denver (DU) announced today that the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) has selected the University as the host site for the very first 2012 Presidential debate.  It will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012 in Magness Arena at the Daniel L. Ritchie Center for Sports and Wellness.

“The University of Denver is excited for this opportunity to partner with the Commission on Presidential Debates to bring this historic event to our campus, our city and our state,” Chancellor Robert Coombe said. “Debates are an important part of our nation’s election process, and, as the first-ever presidential debate to be hosted in Colorado, the national and international spotlight will be on the University of Denver and the entire Rocky Mountain region.”

The University of Denver has a history of hosting prominent events and speakers. Most recently, the University hosted the Dalai Lama during PeaceJam in 2006, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton in 2008, as well as presidential candidates Sen. John McCain and Mitt Romney. Other prominent visitors include former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, and former Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice (BA ’74, PhD ’81) and Madeleine Albright.

Just this fall, DU hosted UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon,  DU alumnus U.S. Army General George Casey (MA ’80) and Former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles.

Coombe said the University of Denver was one of 12 universities around the country hoping for a chance to host one of the four nationally televised debates that will occur just before the November general election in fall 2012. This is the first time the University has applied for host consideration.

“With today’s announcement, DU will focus its attention on building a world-class event that will engage our campus and community in educational opportunities that will last long after the debate and election have passed,” he said.

The University is planning a number of educational programs and events that will be held throughout the year leading up to the debate. Hosting the presidential debate will provide rich opportunities for students and the community to learn about and engage in the political process.

The 440,000-square-foot Daniel L. Ritchie Center for Sports and Wellness was opened in 1999 and is home to the University’s Pioneer athletics program, with 17 men and women’s teams, including Division 1 hockey, basketball, gymnastics and volleyball. The center also is home to a world-class fitness center, a full array of youth and adult recreation programs, and venues for civic and entertainment events.

The University has established a website for all debate-related news at


The University of Denver is committed to improving the human condition and engaging students and faculty in tackling the major issues of our day. DU ranks among the top 100 national universities in the U.S. For additional information, go to

For more information about the Commission on Presidential Debates go to



Contact: Kim DeVigil
Phone: (303) 871-2775



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