SUU Inauguration Week: Mock Debate to Honor Benson

Published: September 05, 2007 | Read Time: 2 minutes

Southern Utah University is hosting a staged presidential debate between Harry S. Truman and Thomas Dewey for students and the Cedar City community to enjoy on Monday, September 17 at 2:00 p.m. This event will be the starting point for the event-filled Inauguration Week dedicated to President Michael T. Benson.

The Truman-Dewey debate will be held in the Sharwan Smith Center Living Room at 2 p.m. on the first day of Inauguration week. The Department of Political Science & Criminal Justice and Pi Sigma Alpha Honor Society will be sponsoring the event. Although there wasn’t an actual debate between the two 1948 candidates, SUU Director of Advising, Orientation & Convocation Jeb Branin and SUU Senior Isaac Holyoak, dressed in 1940s attire, will act out different scenarios that may have taken place between these two political rivals.

SUU’s President Benson wrote his doctoral dissertation at Oxford on the nation’s 33rd president, is a consulting historian for the Harry S Truman Library in Independence, Missouri, and so esteems this great leader, that he and his wife Debi named their recently born son Truman Taft. The upcoming mock debate will honor President Benson and hopefully, help others understand some of the academic and historical influences directing SUU’s 15th president.

The event will be free of charge, and audience members are welcome and encouraged to participate in the show. SUU History Professor Earl F. Mulderink III will moderate the debate and detail the memorable events that took place during the election, including the Chicago Tribune’s false publication of the election results.

The Presidential Election between Truman and Dewey was considered one of the Nation’s greatest electoral upsets. The 1948 election is remembered for the Chicago Tribune’s misprint on the front page reading, “DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN.”

-About Inauguration Week-

SUU’s Inauguration Week will last from September 17-21. Throughout the week, there will be open events honoring President Michael T. Benson. For more details, visit the inauguration website at

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