Chancellor DiStefano at the GOP debateOctober 28, 2015
Coors Events Center

As the Chancellor of the University of Colorado Boulder, it is my pleasure to welcome to campus the Republican National Committee, our Republican presidential candidates, CNBC and 500 national and international journalists.

We are happy to have you here on the campus of our beautiful world-class research university, in a town recognized by multiple media for its community of innovation, patent production and high-tech start-ups.

I want to personally welcome you to CU-Boulder, the home of five Nobel Prize winners, eight MacArthur genius fellows, 18 astronauts and 30,000 politically-engaged students who represent our nation’s future scientists, teachers, business and political leaders.

We are a campus that values political and intellectual diversity. Our students’ enthusiasm and interest in tonight’s debate has been well publicized.

Those who say 18 to 24-year-olds are apathetic toward the future of our country, do not know CU-Boulder students …  And they are watching tonight.

A university campus by its very nature is a place where ideas are exchanged and debated. It’s a place of critical thinking and civil discourse. That’s why I applaud the Republican National Committee for selecting CU-Boulder as the site for its third debate this fall, and its first on a college campus.

Tonight, this debate is being held in a place of learning, where we encourage analysis, collaborative decision making and creative solutions – all attributes we admire in our nation’s leaders.

The university is also home to the Visiting Scholar in Conservative Thought and Policy, an innovative program with scholarly teachings in the tradition of Locke, Hobbs, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, to ensure that all students have the opportunity to be exposed to a diversity of ideas and intellectual thought.

Tonight’s debate is focused on the economy, with the theme of Your Money, Your Vote. Let us recognize that the success of our students, and our research universities, are tied to the success of the economy.

I would remind all the candidates tonight, that our nation’s economic growth and competitiveness rests largely on federally, and privately sponsored research, done at universities like ours around the country.  Not only does this research feed innovation – the creation of new industries and technologies – but it provides unique experiences to students that prepare them for the 21st century workplace.   

We are happy to have you here. We look forward tonight to the diversity of ideas we will hear to move our country forward. Thank you … and again … welcome to the University of Colorado Boulder!

And now, I’m pleased to welcome the moderators to the stage.

  • CNBC Chief Washington Correspondent John Harwood
  • Co-Anchor of CNBC’s “Squawk Box” Becky Quick
  • And finally, Co-Anchor of CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” and “Squawk Alley” … and importantly. CU alumnus … Carl Quintanilla.