WEB POSTING from Centre College

March 29, 2011
By Leigh Cocanougher
Centre submitting proposal to host 2012 presidential debate

Having already been the host for a vice presidential debate, Centre College is setting its sight on something even grander—hosting a 2012 presidential debate.

The College is submitting a proposal to host a 2012 general election debate to the Commission on Presidential Debates, the bipartisan group in Washington D.C., that arranges the debates.

“We believe that Centre will be looked upon favorably as an applicant to host a debate in the next general election cycle,” said the College’s president, John Roush. “We have a proven track record—indeed, as Janet Brown, executive director of the Commission on Presidential Debates, noted after our success in 2000, ‘Centre has set the standard by which future debates will be judged.’ That said, it’s a long, complicated process, and while many apply, few are chosen. We will pursue this ambitious goal with a combination of patience and persistence.”

In 2000, Centre made history as the smallest institution ever to host a general election debate. The two vice presidential candidates, Joe Lieberman and Dick Cheney, faced one another in the College’s Norton Center for the Arts. Former CBS news anchor Dan Rather later described the debate at Centre as “the best vice presidential debate ever held.”

“While our facilities were good when we were successful in 2000,” Roush says, “with the expansion of Sutcliffe Hall and the building of our new Campus Center—both fewer than 100 yards from the Norton Center—we now have the perfect site for a general election debate.”

For more on Centre’s hosting of the 2000 vice presidential debate, click here.

Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Forbes magazine ranks Centre 24th among all the nation's colleges and universities and has named Centre No. 1 among all institutions of higher education in the South for two years in a row. Consumers Digest ranks Centre No. 1 in educational value among all U.S. liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, click here.