In 1992, the University of Richmond hosted the first presidential debate that used a town-hall format. A group of debate experts, including 1992 debate moderator Carole Simpson, will discuss that debate’s importance and impact on politics Oct. 18, 5 p.m. at the University of Richmond’s Tyler Haynes Commons, Alice Haynes Room.

Titled “Unlike Any Other Presidential Debate in History: Reflections on the 20th Anniversary of the 1992 Richmond Town-Hall Debate,” the discussion will include a panel of five experts reflecting on the format and the three presidential candidates -- President George H.W. Bush, running for a second term, and candidates Bill Clinton and Ross Perot -- who participated. Panelists also will discuss the town-hall format in relation to the current presidential campaign.

Panelists will include:

  • Diana B. Carlin, associate vice president for graduate education, Saint Louis University; co-author of the book, “The 1992 Presidential Debates in Focus.”
  • Jennifer McClellan, Virginia House of Delegates, 71st District; a Richmond graduate who attended the 1992 debate as president of the College Democrats.
  • Mitchell McKinney, associate professor and director of graduate studies, Department of Communication, University of Missouri; co-author of the book “The 1992 Presidential Debates in Focus.”
  • Brett O’Donnell, president, O’Donnell & Associates, who helped prepare Gov. Mitt Romney for presidential primary debates in Florida.
  • Carole Simpson, broadcast journalist, moderator of the 1992 Richmond debate and senior leader-in-residence, Emerson College. Simpson will participate remotely.

The program is sponsored by the Department of Rhetoric and Communication Studies and the National Communication Association. It is free and open to the public. For more information, call 804-289-8263.

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