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For the Public

How to Volunteer

Virginia State University is looking for engaged volunteers to assist with this historic event. VSU students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members are encouraged to apply.

Register to Volunteer

Virginia State University is located 20 miles south of Richmond, Virginia, and connected to the many communities surrounding it, including Chesterfield County, the City of Petersburg, and the City of Colonial Heights. Our 231-acre campus sits atop a rolling landscape overlooking the beautiful Appomattox River. Founded in 1882, VSU is an HBCU committed to molding its diverse population of over 5,100 students into informed citizens and global leaders.

As you plan your visit to VSU for the upcoming presidential debate, we encourage you to explore the diverse attractions and experiences our neighboring communities have to offer.

To learn more about each locality and discover activities and attractions, please visit the following links:

  • Chesterfield County: Explore Chesterfield County and discover its rich history, scenic parks, and vibrant cultural scene. Visit for more information.
  • Petersburg: Immerse yourself in the history and heritage of Petersburg, a city steeped in Revolutionary and Civil War history and cultural significance. Discover its charming downtown, historic sites, and wide range of dining options at
  • Colonial Heights: Experience the charm and hospitality of Colonial Heights, a city known for its small-town charm and city-like amenities. Explore its unique shops, family-friendly attractions, and outdoor recreational opportunities at
  • Richmond: Discover the vibrant capital city of Richmond, where history, culture, and creativity converge. From world-class museums and theaters to diverse communities and award-winning restaurants, Richmond offers plenty of possibilities for exploration. Plan your visit at

We look forward to welcoming you to Virginia State University and our surrounding communities for this historic event. Whether you're here to participate in or cover the debate or engage with our students and faculty, we hope you have a GREATER experience.

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"We are honored and grateful to have been selected as a host for a 2024 Presidential Debate. 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."

- VSU President Dr. Makola M. Abdullah

"VSU has always been committed to excellence, inclusivity, and civic engagement. This incredible achievement of hosting a general election presidential debate will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact on the campus community, the university's reputation, and the nation as a whole. Now people will know that not only does Greater Happen at VSU, but history happens here as well."

- VSU Assistant Vice President for Government Relations Eldon Burton

"Words can't describe how proud I am to be a Virginia State University alum and professor. Hosting a presidential debate is a historic opportunity that not only underscores our institution's academic excellence but also reinforces our commitment to creating meaningful discourse and shaping citizen leaders. I am eager to witness the profound impact it will have on our campus and the broader community."

- Associate Professor of Political Science and Public Administration Dr. Wesley Bellamy

"The Presidential Debate at Virginia State University is an amazing opportunity that will contribute to our long-lasting impact of Greater. I am grateful to be educated by the first HBCU to host a U.S. General Election Presidential Debate. I am confident that this experience will further prepare us to be leaders of the future."

- Miss Virginia State University Aliyah Mayers, Class of 2024

"VSU hosting the Presidential Debate will potentially allow us to gain direct insight from the next President of the United States. As students of a Historically Black College and University, we are excited to be the first to host a U.S. General Election Presidential Debate. This opportunity of a lifetime will prepare us as the next innovators of the United States."

- Student Government Association President Kailyn Haye, Class of 2024