Nashville, Tenn., April 2, 2007 – Belmont University has submitted an invitation to the 2008 Commission on Presidential Debates to hold one of the series of scheduled debates featuring the Democratic and Republican Party candidates at the university in Nashville, Tennessee. Belmont is among 19 possible locations nationwide for the 2008 Presidential Debates.
The multi-faceted Curb Event Center would be the venue for the debates, with supporting roles played by the Beaman Student Life Center and the new Gordon E. Inman Center. Belmont’s leadership, faculty, students and staff will participate in supporting this unique and internationally significant event.
Civic organizations, state and local government officials have supported Belmont’s bid for the debates. Tennessee governor Phil Bredesen stated, “The Presidential Debates would find a compatible home at Belmont University where students with inquisitive minds take their roles as future citizens of our community, nation and world very seriously.”
Belmont President Robert Fisher has led the charge to attract the Presidential Debates to Nashville and Belmont. His interest in exposing students to real life experiences and challenging them to think beyond the classroom has positioned Belmont as a university with a unique service mandate that prepares graduates to be contributing members of society after graduation. Hosting the Presidential Debates would allow Belmont students to witness firsthand the United States’ political process and a staple of the presidential election cycle. Debates are often the first time many voters are given a chance to hear and see presidential candidates speak on a host of different issues.
“It will provide extraordinary educational opportunities for all observing the production process and impact of one of America’s most important moments in our democratic system,” Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said. “This will be a once in a lifetime to experience first-hand the democratic process in our country at work.”
The Commission on Presidential Debates will travel to all applicants for site visits in late April and early June. Final decisions will be made in late summer, with an announcement on selected sites taking place in September 2007. The final universities selected for the 2004 debates were the University of Miami (FL), Case Western Reserve University, Washington University in Saint Louis and Arizona State University.
Securing the Presidential Debates would reinforce Belmont University’s mission “to engage and transform the world” and signal its growing presence on the national scene. Following six years of academic growth, the past year has seen Belmont rise in the U.S. News & World Report’s standings to No. 10; voted Nashville’s best MBA program by Nashville Scene readers while the Mike Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business was cited by Rolling Stone and Time magazines as one of the best in the country; watched the men and women’s basketball teams compete in the NCAA Tournaments; celebrated one of its own recent alumni as Miss USA (Rachel Smith, ’06); and, watches each week as another of its alumni comes closer to capturing the American Idol prize (Melinda Doolittle, ’99).
Below is the list of all 2008 debate host applicants:
–Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
— Belmont University, Nashville, TN
— Centre College, Danville, KY
— Economic Development Corporation of Wayne County, Indiana
— Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY
— Indiana University and the City of Bloomington’s Convention and Visitor’s Bureau
— MERC, Portland, OR
— Ohio State University, National Public Radio, and Public Broadcasting Station, Columbus, OH
— State of Illinois (Lakeside Center/McCormick Place, Chicago)
— University of Central Arkansas, Conway, AR
— University of Cincinnati and the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, OH
— University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL
— University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS
— VisitPittsburgh, PA
— Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC
— Washington State University, Spokane, WA
— Washington University in St. Louis, MO
— Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT
— Women of the Storm, New Orleans, LA
Belmont University’s fast-growing community of nearly 4,500 students comes from every state and more than 25 countries. Belmont is committed to premier teaching with a focus on success in the real world. Our purpose is to help students explore their passions and develop their talents to meet the world’s needs. With more than 70 areas of study, eight master’s degrees and two doctoral degrees, there is no limit to the ways Belmont University can expand an individual’s horizon.