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National Stage


Tweaking lyrics from the musical Hamilton, one could say, “History had its eyes on the U” last fall for the lone vice presidential debate of the 2020 election. Approximately 60 million viewers tuned in on Oct. 7 to watch Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris face off live in Kingsbury Hall—making it the second-most-watched vice presidential debate ever.

The U was announced as the venue in October 2019. For the next 11 months, campus was abuzz with planning, ranging from implementing robust safety and security protocols to running student involvement initiatives to preparing large-scale PR and marketing efforts.

“The eyes of the world were on our campus, and the University of Utah delivered,” says Jason Perry JD’99, vice president for government relations and director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics. “Hosting the debate was a massive undertaking, and we’ve never been more proud of our campus community.”

Read more about what it took to put on the vice presidential debate.

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