Virginia State University Makes History As First HBCU to Host a General Election Presidential Debate


by Paulina Isaac

November 28, 2023

Virginia State University will become the country’s first historically Black college or university to host a general election presidential debate come 2024. According to NBC News, Virginia State University in Petersburg will host the second debate of the 2024 general election cycle on Oct. 1.

“We are honored and grateful to have been chosen as a host for a 2024 Presidential Debate,” VSU President Makola M. Abdullah said in a news release. “This is a historic moment for our university and for HBCUs nationwide. Our university mantra is ‘Greater Happens Here,’ and we look forward to welcoming the candidates, the Commission on Presidential Debates, and the entire nation to the GREATER at VSU.” 

Eldon Burton, VSU Assistant Vice President for Government Relations, added, “We have always been committed to excellence, inclusivity, and civic engagement. This incredible achievement will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact on the campus community, the university’s reputation, and the nation as a whole. Now people will know that not only does Greater Happen at VSU, but history happens here as well.”

Additional debates will be hosted at Texas State University — a Hispanic-serving institution — on Sept. 16 and the University of Utah on Oct. 9. Also, a vice presidential debate will be held at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania on Sept. 25. 

Cover photo: Virginia State University Makes History As First HBCU to Host a General Election Presidential Debate/Photo by AFP/Getty Images


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