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Reaching Out: The Center Continues to Host World-Class Programs

Two core principles of the Center for Politics mission are to encourage citizens to actively participate in the political process and government; and to educate citizens through comprehensive research, programs, and publications. Working to meet these goals, each year the Center hosts a variety of programs to bring together academics, journalists, citizens and political insiders and practitioners to evaluate and discuss the world of politics.

At the beginning of the spring season, the Center for Politics welcomed an accomplished group of University of Virginia alumni to participate in a student-centered career panel. University Career Services and the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy co-sponsored the event, and alumni participants shared insights into the process of securing employment in public policy and politics.

The latest installment of the Center's Anniversary Series, which commemorates the landmark political events with programs, symposia, television documentaries, and public lectures, examined the legacy of John F. Kennedy's carefully crafted public image and political image-making in presidential campaigns. "JFK & Camelot: Political Image-Making" featured Democratic strategist Maria Cardona, Slate's chief political correspondent John Dickerson, Republican strategist Frank Donatelli, presidential scholar Barbara Perry and noted author Richard Reeves.

An unavoidable issue in our daily newspapers, around the water cooler and at dinner tables nation-wide is the topic of our national debt. Center director Larry J. Sabato moderated an expert panel on "The Politics of the Nation's Debt" at the University of Virginia Small Special Collections Library. Participants discussed the present-day politics and economics surrounding the federal government's debt. Panelists included:

  • Senator Alan Simpson, co-chair of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform
  • Dr. Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research
  • David Walker, President of the Comeback America Initiative and former Comptroller General

What impact does the media have in pushing gender stereotypes that inhibit women's success in politics? How does having women elected to public office enhance the body politic? These questions and more will be examined at the 13th Annual Virginia Political History Project, Creating Opportunities for Women in Virginia Politics, on Friday, July 29th at the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond, Virginia. State and national political figures will share their experiences, and the Farm Team and the Jennifer Byler Institute will lead breakout sessions to uncover practical solutions to the issues discussed. Event registration is available at