Saint Mary's Hopes for 2012 Presidential Debate Unfulfilled

College President Expresses Appreciation for Broad Support of Application

The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) informed Brother President Ronald Gallagher today that Saint Mary’s College of California was not selected to host a presidential debate for the 2012 General Election. The debate would have served as a major event during the College's sesquicentennial celebration in the 2012-13 academic year.

“The CPD acknowledged Saint Mary’s impressive application package and our enthusiasm for hosting the debate. The College offers its sincere appreciation for the public, civic and political support we received for our efforts to secure a  2012 presidential debate,” said Gallagher. 

Plans to commemorate Saint Mary’s 150th anniversary during the 2012-13 academic year are still underway. The College’s Sesquicentennial celebration will include major public events in the three areas where the College has been located, such as cultural and public presentations in San Francisco, a large scale Mass in Oakland and academic symposiums and a Community Open House in the Town of Moraga.

Gallagher also said that Saint Mary's will continue to pursue opportunities to bring the educational benefits of political discussion and debate to its campus. "The 2010 Senate debate between Sen. Barbara Boxer and Carly Fiorina and the College's presidential debate application process illustrates ways that Saint Mary’s can serve as a venue for political discussion on a national level. We will continue our core educational commitment to engaging in dialogue about the most important issues of our day and our world."

Saint Mary’s received broad support for hosting a 2012 debate, including resolutions from many Contra Costa County cities, letters of support from Senators Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, Congressional Representatives John Garamendi and George Miller, State Senator Mark DeSaulnier, Assemblywomen Susan Bonilla and Nancy Skinner, and 1988 Democratic Presidential candidate Michael Dukakis, among others.

The College also received editorial support from the Bay Area News Group, including the Contra Costa Times and the Oakland Tribune, and the San Francisco Chronicle.


Michael McAlpin
Director of Media Relations
(925) 631-4222 office
(925) 878-9535 cell

About SMC
The Saint Mary’s College of California experience inspires learning that lasts a lifetime. For nearly 150 years, the College has provided students with a rigorous education that engages their intellect and spirit, and awakens a desire to transform society. Guided by the Christian Brothers, the Catholic Church’s oldest order dedicated exclusively to teaching, the College enrolls more than 3,800 students in undergraduate and graduate liberal arts and business programs. For more information visit Saint Mary’s College at and just 23 miles east of San Francisco.