Written on November 17, 2011 at 3:55 pm
In just under a year, the eyes of the world will be focused on Boca Raton. It’s a tremendous opportunity for Lynn University as well as our City. Just two weeks ago, Lynn University was chosen as the site for the last of four debates leading up to the 2012 Presidential Election. The event will take place October 22, 2012, fifteen days before the election, at Lynn’s 750-seat Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center. (pictured below)
Last week’s meeting of the Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce gave us a close-up look at Lynn University and the effort that went into landing this major event. Lynn President, Kevin Ross and Chief of Staff Dr. Jason Lewis Walton were the guest speakers.
Lynn, a private liberal arts school in Boca Raton with an enrollment of 2,100 beat out a number of larger and better known institutions that applied to host the event. Tickets will be extremely hard to come by and most of the seats at the event will be given to Lynn students.
“Being an undergraduate or graduate student here on our campus when such an historic event takes place will provide a singular and unparalleled educational experience,” said President Ross.
The school is responsible for a $1.6 million fee paid to the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) to host the event and the total cost is expected to top $4.5 million. The expected economic impact for Boca Raton is estimated at well over $30 million. The University will be reaching out to the business community for sponsorships. The debate comes at a great time for Lynn which is celebrating it’s 50th Anniversary and is the midst of an expansion that will increase enrollment to 3,000 students, which according to Ross is as large as Lynn will ever get.
Lynn officials will be traveling to Washington for a “boot camp” next week to work on the details and logistics of hosting the event. When they return, they expect to have details on how the local business community can get involved and a debate web site should launch by early December.
The debate presents an incredible opportunity for our city to shine in the public spotlight. For a moment in time, Boca Raton will be the center of the political universe. Every major news organization will be here and Boca Raton will undoubtedly be the backdrop for numerous national broadcasts. Over 60 million people viewed the final Obama-McCain debate in 2008, one of the most viewed events in history. We at Danburg wish to thank Dr. Ross and Dr. Walton for their efforts and look forward to a successful event that shows the world that it’s great to live and work in Boca Raton.