Presidential Debate: Competitive Greatness at Lynn University

Perched atop legendary basketball coach John Wooden's Pyramid of Success sits Competitive Greatness. "Perform at your best when your best is required," implored the Wizard of Westwood, en route to directing UCLA to 10 national championships.

With November 6 just around the corner, the best is required out of everyone involved in this critical Presidential Election. Both candidates, and their political parties, are working at their absolute best. That goes for us too, here at Lynn University.

Hosting the Final Presidential Debate on October 22 has required all of us at Lynn to be on top of our game. For more than a year, we have had a front row seat to see our campus accept the challenge of hosting one of the most important political events on the planet. And we have had that same front row seat to witness competitive greatness in action.

Our administration - headed by University President Dr. Kevin Ross - has demonstrated the vision to change a dream into reality. From the very beginning, the administration understood that our 2,000-student institution was up for this challenge. They have stood the course, and their leadership has brought our Little University That Could to the front of the world stage.

Our faculty has embraced the incorporation of debate-related topics into our curricula and daily lectures. From our department -- sports management -- to psychology to communication to every program of study, we all have worked to make the connections for our students between these political events and larger issues of community. We have created more than 80 debate-related classes, including a completely innovative and engaging K-8 online curriculum that now is located on the front page of iTunes University. Our faculty has been at our best when our best has been needed.

The campus maintenance team here at Lynn University has been working overtime to make our spectacular 123-acre campus even more fabulous than ever. They have built strong, massive new structures for the media and have planted beautiful new landscaping everywhere. Our campus has never looked better.

Our Chief Information Officer has overseen one of the most dramatic technological reboots that any campus ever has undertaken. Our Information Technology staff has worked with miles of cable, installed countless new wireless hookups, and developed an unparalleled infrastructure for the Commission on Presidential Debates, U.S. Secret Service and 2,500 members of the visiting international media.

These throngs of media are being handled with grace and aplomb by our first-class communications, media relations and marketing officers. More than 70 million sets of eyes will be on our corner of the world. We are proud to say that our public relations staff is ready to show off everything that is great about our institution.

None of this would work without our local business partners and community neighbors who are helping to make this Presidential Debate a reality. From construction crews' building of new roads to local law enforcements' assistance with new traffic patterns to the work of hundreds of area volunteers, the city of Boca Raton is ready for the big day.

And, of course, there are our students. They come from all over the world to study here: Nearly every U.S. state and more than 80 countries are represented in our diverse student body. Throughout this incredible journey, our students have been inspired to take part in the political process, they have been engaged in the greater lessons of this epic event and - perhaps most inspiring to us, as faculty - they have been educationally re-invigorated by the simple joys and satisfaction that comes with learning.

When all of us here at Lynn University look back on October 22, 2012, we will not remember Debate Day for the long hours we all worked or for the logistical challenges with which we were faced. Instead, we will remember it as the culmination of our entire campus' efforts to rise to the challenge. When our best was needed, Lynn University performed at its best. We have embodied competitive greatness. Coach Wooden would be proud.

Stay in touch with sports management professors Dr. Chad Barr and Prof. Ted Curtis by liking their page at or following on Twitter at @LynnUSportsMgmt.