Reporting Gary Nelson
BOCA RATON (CBSMiami) – The eyes of the nation will be on South Florida on Oct. 22nd as the third and final Presidential debate is held at Lynn University in Boca Raton.
Lynn University is a small, quiet school but it’ll be anything but quiet when President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney hold their final presidential campaign debate on campus.
Lynn, with just 2,000 students, was among scores of schools that competed for the event and made the short list a year ago.
“We were the only school in Florida then being considered. So at that moment, I quietly shared with some people on campus, ‘I think we’ve got a shot at this thing.’ Florida’s critically important, 29 electoral votes,” said Lynn University President Dr. Kevin Ross. “I think something struck a chord, because ultimately we were chosen.”
Tammy Reyes is among volunteers helping with the debate, on world affairs, at a school that has students from 77 countries.
“We have a very international community here at Lynn, so the fact that it’s about foreign policy is really interesting and captivating students,” said Reyes.
“We’re very excited about it,” said student John Salvadore who is a U.S. and Mexican citizen. “We all know that the United States, whatever happens in their politics, affects the whole world, especially Mexico; we’re neighbors, our biggest trading partner, so it’s very important.”
With a world in flux, and an economy edging back, the Lynn debate could be a decider.
“I don’t think you can think of a time since World War Two when there has been this many explosive and serious national security issues at stake at one time,” explained Lynn University Political scientist Robert Watson.
The debate will be held at Lynn’s new Wold Performing Arts Center. The school has spent about five million dollars on improvements, money it plans to get back in spades through exposure.
While at the school box office, you can get tickets to lots of events, debate tickets are not available.
Only 500 political big wigs will get tickets, along with 75 students who will receive the tickets via a lottery. Countless millions will watch on TV.
And so Lynn, the little university that could, could make or break someone’s presidential aspirations, serving as the final platform on which the American people will view both candidates side-by-side.