Notre Dame readies to host first 2020 presidential debate

Author: Notre Dame Magazine

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Editor’s Note: Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins announced on July 27 that Notre Dame has withdrawn as the host site for the first of the 2020 presidential debates, scheduled for September 29.

For the first time, the University of Notre Dame will host a U.S. presidential debate.

The first of the three such debates in the 2020 general-election series will take place on September 29 in the Purcell Pavilion of the Joyce Center. The selection of Notre Dame as a site was announced in October by the Commission on Presidential Debates.

“The heart of democracy is addressing significant questions in open, reasoned discussion that will inform voters as they prepare to cast their votes,” said University President Rev. John I. Jenkins, CSC, ’76, ’78 M.A., who has served on the CPD’s board of directors since 2011. “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.”

The commission is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization and has sponsored all of the presidential and vice-presidential debates since 1988. The event is expected to draw thousands of regional, national and international media representatives to the South Bend area. More details will be available in the months ahead at