Willamette President Lee Pelton to Moderate Gubernatorial Debate

Willamette University President M. Lee PeltonWillamette University President M. Lee Pelton will moderate the Oregon gubernatorial debate at the City Club of Portland's Friday Forum. The high profile debate will be Oct. 13 at noon at the Governor Hotel, 614 SW 11th Ave. in Portland. The public is welcome.

"President Pelton is a well-regarded civic leader, scholar and university president, and we are pleased to have him moderate one of the most important debates of this year's election season," said Wendy Radmacher-Willis, City Club executive director.

Pelton was appointed Willamette University's 23nd president July 1999. Under his leadership, the University has increased its academic profile, successfully employing strategies to attract the best faculty and the brightest students from the state, the nation and the world. Since 2001, Willamette University has been ranked a top tier liberal arts college by U.S. News and World Report.

Pelton chairs the American Council on Education and serves as vice-chair of the Harvard University Board of Overseers. He has lectured and written widely on higher education, and is recognized for his knowledge of and commitment to diversity. He serves on the boards of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Oregon Symphony and Portland General Electric.

Pelton holds a doctorate from Harvard University and an undergraduate degree in English and psychology from Wichita State University, where he graduated magna cum laude in 1974. His area of academic focus is 19th century British prose and poetry.

He served as dean of the college at Colgate University (1988-91) and Dartmouth College (1991-98). At Harvard he taught in the English department and was the dean of one of Harvard's 13 undergraduate colleges.

City Club of Portland is a nonprofit, nonpartisan civic affairs organization that promotes civic engagement and active citizenship to build a stronger community. Through unbiased research and compelling programs, the club connects citizens with ideas and issues that affect our community. The club is open to everyone who wants to interact with other citizens and shape the future of our city and state, providing a neutral forum for many diverse voices.

Doors open at 11:30 a.m.; the program begins at 12:15 p.m. and concludes at 1:15 p.m. Luncheon tickets are $20 ($16 for members of City Club) and must be reserved by 2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 11, online at or by calling 503-228-7231, ext. 103. Coffee/tea table tickets ($5) and general seating ($5; free for City Club members) will be available at the door on a first-come, first-served basis.

A SmartPark garage is located one block away from the Governor Hotel at 730 SW 10th Ave. The Governor Hotel is accessible by bus, Portland Streetcar and MAX light rail.

The forum will be broadcast on Oregon Public Broadcasting and several television stations. People may also watch City Club Friday Forums online or purchase audio CDs, VHS videotapes or DVD videos of the program. For more information, visit or call 503-228-7231.

Media are encouraged to attend and are invited to sit in general seating. Please contact City Club's communications coordinator, Chris Cochran, prior to the forum to RSVP and sign in at the registration table on the day of the forum. For broadcast media, an audio press patch will be available, and a riser for videotaping can be provided with advance notice. Contact Cochran at or 503-228-7231, ext. 102.