CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia State University has been chosen by the Commission on Presidential Debates to host the second general election presidential debate.

Founded in 1882, VSU is the first Historically Black College/University (HBCU) to host a general election U.S. presidential debate. The 2024 Presidential Debate will provide a platform for candidates to present policies, engage in constructive dialogue, and showcase leadership abilities.

“While VSU recognizes that a tremendous amount of preparation goes into hosting a national debate, it is extremely honored and excited to be a part of meaningful conversations on important issues that impact the nation,” the university said in an announcement. “VSU welcomes the opportunity to uphold its reputation for advancing social justice and shaping future leaders. The university also hopes to leverage this opportunity to reinforce campus conversations, listen and learn about varied viewpoints, and further exhibit why we are a leading institution in higher education.”

The university has a population of just over 5,100 students and is located 20 miles south of Richmond, in southern Chesterfield County at 1 Hayden Street in Ettrick, Virginia.

VSU has set new records for enrollment over each of the last three years. To support the growing population, VSU has continued adding to its campus with a new research and administration building in 2023 for its growing agriculture program. In 2025, the university plans to unveil its largest building on campus, the Alfred W. Harris Academic Commons. The 174,000-square-foot facility will be home to the university’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the College of Education.

“We are honored and grateful to have been chosen as a host for a 2024 Presidential Debate,” said VSU President Dr. Makola M. Abdullah. “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.”

The debate — the second of three scheduled general election presidential debates — will take place at the VSU Multipurpose Center Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2024. The facility opened in 2016, and the university said it was chosen due to its state-of-the-art amenities.

The first debate will take place Monday, Sept. 16, 2024, at Texas State University. The third will take place Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2024, at the University of Utah.

The vice presidential debate is set for Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2024.

All debates will begin at 9 p.m. ET and run for 90 minutes without commercial interruption.

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