For our student body, faculty, staff and 30,000 alumni, the debate was more than a point of pride—it was an opportunity to engage with campus in ways never before dreamed of. Faculty created more than 30 courses exploring our democracy and election process, and invited prestigious speakers to campus in a yearlong series of talks that drew standing-room-only crowds. The more than 700 students who volunteered to be part of the effort were matched with roles that complemented their studies or interests—an unprecedented step for a debate host. One hundred fifty students experienced the debate from inside the hall—a memory that will never fade. More than 100 alumni hosted debate watch parties, complete with the special-edition Grain of Truth stout brewed especially for the debate. The elegant Decatur House in Washington hosted alumni for an elegant discussion of Vice Presidential Debate history in the days leading up to the event.
For three days, the Longwood community came together in a celebration of our campus spirit and our democracy. From TED-style faculty talks to lawn games to a chance to show some school spirit behind the network stages on campus, the atmosphere was electric.