See our photo slideshow of events leading up to the debate.
Watch videos in our presidential debate YouTube channel playlist.
Student Reports From Abroad
Read blogs from DU students studying abroad—including how experiences in their host countries are shaping how they think about the upcoming presidential election.
DebateFest, watch parties draw large, diverse crowds
Thousands of people gathered on DU campus and beyond to celebrate Denver's first presidential debate and to watch the drama between President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney unfold on TV screens.
Colorado Voter Poll "spot on"
Exit polls following the 2012 presidential elections were consistent with the Colorado Voter Poll the University of Denver helped administer.
Obama holds narrow lead among Colorado voters
A poll of likely Colorado voters shows that they narrowly favor President Barack Obama over Gov. Mitt Romney, despite the majority opinion that Romney performed better in the Oct. 3 debate at the University of Denver.
The debate by the numbers
Hundreds of volunteers and staff spent more than a year making the first presidential debate possible. We hosted 1,300 debate attendees, more than 3,000 journalists from around the world, and more than 5,000 DebateFest attendees. And the temperature dropped 45 degrees during the day.
The University steps into national spotlight on debate day
After months of planning, the University of Denver finally took the spotlight Oct. 3 as it hosted the first presidential debate of the 2012 election.
Reaction from a student ticket winner
University of Denver student Heidi Stinson-Ebert won a ticket to the Oct. 3, 2012, presidential debate on campus in DU's ticket lottery.
University draws names of students who will attend the debate
The first round of DU students were selected to win spots at the presidential debate. Student government leaders drew names one by one while spectators waited anxiously to hear their names.
Students design election video games
To teach first-year students about the machinations of campaign politics this fall, computer science Professor Scott Leutenegger intends to speak to the freshmen in a language he knows they will understand. He’s having them create their own video games.
Political science professor a rising star in his field
Seth Masket has emerged as a go-to source for reporters and commenters seeking insight into how political parties work. It's not uncommon to see his observations cited throughout the political blogosphere or in newspaper reports.
How to Play Debate Host
What does it take to host a presidential debate? It's a logistical feat, according to David Greenberg, one of many people at the University of Denver tasked with coordinating the first 2012 presidential debate on campus.
See what the University and the city of Denver have been doing to prepare for the Oct. 3 debate.
DU's no stranger to presidential visits
When presidents Dwight Eisenhower and Lyndon Johnson visited the University of Denver, they left with honorary DU degrees. Presidents John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan accepted University invitations to speak in Denver not long before taking office.
Our history of hosting those men who held America's highest office dates back to Oct. 3, 1911—exactly 101 years before we'll host the first presidential election of 2012.
Aug. 20, 2012
A panel of University and Colorado-based experts gathered in Washington, D.C., to discuss Colorado's important role as a purple state in the upcoming presidential election.
The group discussed the state's shifting political and business landscape, its electorate—including the growing Hispanic population and increasing number of independent voters—and other issues that are making news in Colorado.
Catch up on the Debate Event Series
Get a taste of past speakers and issues discussed in our Presidential Debate Event Series by watching volumes 1 and 2 of our Event Series video montages.
Check out these videos to see what you may have missed and get a feel for what's yet to come as we build up to the Oct. 3 presidential debate on campus.
Watch volume 1, featuring speakers such as:
- Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and Madeleine Albright
- Gen. George Casey
- PBS journalist Ray Suarez
- Jeffrey Johnson (award-winning journalist)
- Jennifer Siebel Newsom (director, producer, "Miss Representation")
- congressional correspondent Jay Newton-Small
May 19, 2012
Spring Powwow Celebrates Native American Culture
The University captured the spirit and vivid imagery of Native American traditions during our Second Annual Powwow, held inside the Gates Field House on Saturday, May 19.
May 11, 2012
Panel discusses political journalism in age of new media
Speaking to a crowd of avid Twitter and Facebook users, four experts on politics and political journalism discussed the power of new media technologies on how we receive and interpret political messages.
Panelists were: Brent Blackaby, online political consultant, Trilogy Interactive; Jay Newton-Small, congressional correspondent, Time Magazine; Dorian Warren, assistant professor of political science, Columbia University; and David Weigel, political reporter, Slate magazine.
May 9, 2012
Society has much to do to encourage girls and women
Jennifer Siebel Newsom—writer, director and producer of the 2011 Sundance documentary Miss Representation—spoke with The Women's College Dean Lynn Gangone about her work, her life and how both collided to help her explore how women are misrepresented in modern-day media.
May 5, 2012
29th Annual Festival of Nations Unites Community
The University celebrated a variety of cultural traditions—including dance, music and food—at its 29th Annual Festival of Nations.
For a recap of the day's events, view our Festival of Nations photo slideshow.
May 1, 2012
Author shares investigation of ganjapreneurialism
Author Greg Campbell visited campus to share the investigative work he did to write about the medical marijunana industry in his recent book, Pot, Inc..
Campbell posed as a patient with back pain, in need of medical marijuana, to gain access to and grow the drug.
Ambassador: Peace is only resolution to Syrian crisis
Syrian opposition groups and President Bashar Assad must practice diplomacy—without intervention from the United Nations—to resolve their conflict, Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin told a crowd at the University's Josef Korbel School of International Studies.
During his talk, Churkin said that unlike other Arab Spring uprisings, the conflict in Syria was largely instigated by violent opposition forces who do not represent the majority sentiment about Assad.
April 26, 2012
Panel discusses energy and energy policy
In this debate about the connection between renewable and traditional energy sources, moderator former Colorado Gov. Richard Lamm asked for the perspectives of Lee Boughey, co-chair of the Colorado Energy Coalition; K.K. DuVivier, professor at DU's Sturm College of Law; Alice Madden, Wirth Chair in Sustainable Development at CU Boulder; and Christopher Votoupal, deputy director of Colorado Cleantech Industry Association.
April 24, 2012
Suarez chronicles history of faith in politics
In his April 24 lecture, journalist Ray Suarez told a packed house at the Newman Center that he's been surprised by the massive influence religion and faith have had on Americans and their elections.
Suarez, author of books such as The Holy Vote: The Politics of Faith in America, took the audience on a historical journey through American political history as it's increasingly been informed by candidates' personal values and beliefs.
See our Q & A with Suarez
April 20, 2012
"Never complain about a problem unless you're working on the solution"
At our 17th Annual Women's Conference, University of Denver alumna Dafna Michaelson shared the experiences that led her to travel to all 50 states and find ordinary people doing extraordinary things in their communities.
In her talk, Michaelson told the audience that by finding these people, she was able to share the universal message that we are responsible for helping ourselves and our communities.
April 17, 2012
Author Julia Alvarez: "I am truly an all-American writer."
If you missed author Julia Alvarez's April 17 lecture, "Stories I Steer By," you can still learn about her work and life as a storyteller.
In a brief interview, Alvarez told the University of Denver about her roots and view of herself as an all-American writer.
April 15, 2012
Johnson: Live and embrace diversity each day
In his keynote speech at the University's 11th Annual Diversity Summit, journalist Jeff Johnson urged the audience to begin the courageous, evolutionary process of practicing inclusiveness every day—regardless of how uncomfortable it may be to address our own ignorance and biases.
April 13, 2012
Albright reflects on past to analyze U.S. diplomacy
In a sit-down with DU Dean Chris Hill, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright discussed topics from North Korea's stubborn tactics in political negotiations to the value of academic thinking in government.
The talk touched on Albright's role in forming key international relationships, her opinion of other administrations' approaches to policy and her upcoming book—about her father and former DU Dean Josef Korbel.
April 12, 2012
Fracking hits too close to home for some Coloradans
Coloradans are facing an ultimatum: allow local energy companies access to drill for trapped oil and gas deposits—however close to home they may be—or face losing these businesses and their jobs to other energy-friendly states.
That was the dilemma discussed by local energy experts during a panel discussion, at DU's Ricketson Law Building, entitled "State and Municipal Regulation of Oil and Gas Development: Who Sets the Standards in Colorado?"
April 9, 2012
Kosovo Prime Minister Lauds Korbel Dean, Albright
Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci praised the work of former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Korbel School Dean Chris Hill—a key player in the 1995 Bosnia peace settlement—during a visit to the DU campus.
Thaci's visit—part of a meeting with Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper about how Colorado companies could help Kosovo economically—included this discussion at DU about how Kosovo could play a bigger role throughout the world.
April 2, 2012
Rice talks global negotiations, Gadhafi and more
During a return to her alma mater, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice discussed the challenges she faced following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the differences between Iraq and Afghanistan following U.S. intervention and her discomfort with the affections of late Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi.
March 30, 2012
Gen. Casey returns to DU to teach
Gen. George Casey Jr., a DU alumnus and retired four-star Army General, spent three weeks on campus teaching the course "Civil-Military Relations at a Time of War" as well as meeting with groups across DU.
Casey also talked to students during his March 30 address at DU's Discover Korbel event.
March 13, 2012
U.S. ambassador to Mexico calls for greater partnership
To strengthen the bond between the United States and Mexico, both countries should work together to address security, border infrastructure and trade implementation, energy security and efficiency, immigration, and global issues and policies.
That was the message from Arturo Sarukhan, Mexican ambassador to the United States, during a stop at DU's Josef Korbel School of International Studies.
Feb. 20, 2012
DU launches debate countdown clock, logo
With 226 days until the University hosts the first 2012 presidential debate, students, faculty, staff, and members of local print, TV and radio media gathered at DU's Sidelines Pub to launch a countdown clock to the event and introduce its new debate logo.
Feb. 2, 2012
Former State Department leader: Global bonds are key
Speaking at DU's 2012 Bridges to the Future series, Princeton Professor Anne-Marie Slaughter told the crowd that to maintain its political power, the United States must focus on forming strong relationships with international policy leaders and increasingly influential non-governmental entities.
Jan. 22, 2012
DU professor discusses history of polarized politics
Political science professor Peter Hanson told a crowd of Seattle-based DU alumni that it will take significant political reform to end the polarization within Congress.
His talk, part of the University's Lifelong Learning Program, gave the audience historical context to the divisiveness between American's two major political parties.
Oct. 31, 2011
DU announces it will host first 2012 presidential debate
Watch video of the press conference in which DU Chancellor Robert Coombe announced that the Commission on Presidential Debates selected the University to host the first presidential debate of 2012.