Presidential Primary Debate A Success!

I'd like to extend sincere thanks to all members of the University community for the patience, cooperation and enthusiasm that was in evidence everywhere as we hosted the Republican Presidential Primary Debate on the Boca Raton campus.

I realize that this event caused some inconvenience to students, faculty and staff as some classes were moved, access to the Student Union complex, the Student Support Services Building and the Lifelong Learning Center was temporarily blocked and parking became challenging. Those who were affected by these temporary changes in our campus life showed a great deal of understanding of the situation, and that certainly reflected very well on us as a University community.

On the upside of this equation is the fact that the nationally televised debate and all of the activities surrounding it went extraordinarily well. FAU received an unprecedented amount of national exposure, beginning with Thursday morning's "Today Show" on NBC, continuing through several broadcasts of "Hardball" and concluding with Friday's "Morning Joe" program on MSNBC.

The debate itself was viewed by millions of Americans on MSNBC as well as on many NBC and PBS affiliates around the country. Additionally, more than 400 print and broadcast journalists were on hand to cover the debate for their news organizations. It was truly a day when history was made at our University, as we stepped onto the national stage to perform a service of high value to the entire nation.

Here are some statistics that may interest you:

• The University-wide "Join It!" civic engagement events attracted the participation of more than 4,000 students, faculty, staff, alumni and local residents.

• More than 700 students, faculty and staff signed up to volunteer to help at debate activities, logging a total of 1,500 volunteer hours.

• Chartwells, FAU's food services provider, served 2,560 meals.

• The debate's technological requirements included 300 power strips, 84 AT&T telephone lines and more than five miles of power and data cable.

• More than 140 signs were designed, printed and put on display, and more than 1,000 feet of pipe and drape was used to channel foot traffic and augment building décor.
Long after the various inconveniences connected to the debate have been forgotten, we'll remember that our University played an important role in the national conversation that led to the election of the 44th President of the United States.


Last Update 1/28/08

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