SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — It’s a historic first for Texas, with Texas State University poised to host a presidential debate next fall. It’s the first time a Texas university will house presidential candidates in a general election debate as part of their race to the White House, TXST officials said in a Monday release.

Texas State University will host the first of four scheduled general election debates on Sept. 16, 2024. Not only does TXST lay claim to being the first Texas university to host a presidential debate, but it is also the only Texas university with a U.S. president as an alum.

Lyndon Baines Johnson graduated from TXST in 1930 with both a bachelor of science in history and a teaching certificate, the release added.

“It’s fitting that the only university in Texas to graduate a U.S. president will be the first university in Texas to host a presidential debate.” Texas State University System Chancellor Brian McCall said in the release. “This is an exciting time at Texas State, and we can’t wait to showcase our great university before a global audience.”

Jack Martin, a TXST alum and the former chair of the Texas State University System Board of Regents, will lead the TXST presidential debate committee as well as aid in the event’s fundraising efforts, the release said.

Currently, TXST is home to almost 39,000 students, with university officials adding the university “closely mirrors the demographics of the state of Texas.” Nearly 43% of students are first-generation college students, per the release.

“On behalf of our university community, TXST is honored to represent Texas on the international stage and to play a direct role in the nation’s democratic process,” TXST President Kelly Damphousse added in the release. “It is especially fitting that TXST will host the debate as we celebrate our 125th year as an institution of higher learning. Supporting our students in becoming engaged global citizens is core to our TXST values and to our legacy. Our university will provide the perfect environment to debate and share ideas that will shape the future of our nation. Thank you to the CPD for giving TXST and our students this incredible opportunity.”  

Additional general election debates scheduled are as follows:

  • Sept. 25: Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania: vice presidential debate
  • Oct. 1: Virginia State University in Petersburg, Virginia
  • Oct. 9: University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah