For the first time in its 176-year history, the University of Notre Dame will host a U.S. presidential debate. Set for September of next year, the debate will be the first for the 2020 general election and take place at the Joyce Center on the South Bend campus.
The Commission on Presidential Debates, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that has sponsored all general election presidential and vice presidential debates since 1988, announced the decision Friday. Notre Dame President Rev. John Jenkins, who serves on the CPD Board of Directors, says the debate will shine a global spotlight on the region.
"The heart of democracy is addressing significant questions in open, reasoned discussion that will inform voters as they prepare to cast their votes," Jenkins said in a news release. "Standing apart from the glitz and spin of modern campaigns, the presidential debates are that solemn moment in our national life when candidates are invited to discuss seriously the central issues before us."
While it will be the first debate hosted at Notre Dame, the university has welcomed several sitting presidents over the past 60 years. They include Presidents Dwight Eisenhower (1960), Jimmy Carter (1977), Ronald Reagan (1981), George H.W. Bush (1992), George W. Bush (2001) and Barack Obama (2009).
The university says the debate is expected to draw thousands of media representatives from throughout the world to South Bend. You can learn more about the debate by clicking here.