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Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce and Keene State College Announce Presidential Candidate Forums

KEENE, N.H., 2/8/07 - The Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce (GKCC) and Keene State College (KSC) will sponsor a series of Presidential Candidate Forums, spotlighting individual candidates running for the office of President of the United States in the 2008 New Hampshire Primary. The forum series will run throughout 2007 and will be held on the campus of Keene State College.

Each Presidential candidate will be invited to appear before an audience made up of business leaders, area residents, and members of the Keene State College community. The forums will be divided into two sections. The first portion of the forum will be devoted to a moderated question and answer period where the candidate will be asked his or her view on specific topics associated with business and educational issues. The second section of the forum will be open to questions from the audience. Each candidate will have his or her own forum. This will not be a debate setting.

The GKCC and KSC represent the business and higher education communities, respectively, of the greater Keene area. The Presidential Candidate Forums were created by the GKCC and KSC to directly address the public service goals and mission of both organizations.

“Part of the mission of the Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce is to advance the commercial, educational, and cultural welfare of Keene and the surrounding area,” said Tom Dowling, president of the GKCC. “By bringing together the resources of the Chamber and the College, we feel our members, the community at large, and the students, faculty, and staff of Keene State College will have an outstanding venue to learn more about the presidential candidates, right here in our own backyard. We believe the forums will become a focal point of our community throughout 2007, and we are excited to participate.”

“Keene State College is committed to community engagement and to providing learning opportunities for our students that are grounded in service, citizenship, and ethical awareness,” said Keene State president Dr. Helen F. Giles-Gee. “Particularly, our campus has welcomed the opportunity to host political candidate forums so that all of us in the Monadnock region can participate more fully in the electoral process, the most fundamental responsibility of citizens in a democracy. We embrace this opportunity to join with the Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce to engage candidates in dialogues about economic, educational, and other issues that are essential to the vitality of our community and directly impact the quality of our lives.”

The sponsoring organizations also plan to televise the forums utilizing Cheshire Public Television, thereby allowing those who are unable to attend in person the opportunity to view the forum.

Admission to the forums is free, although tickets will be required. A ticketing process and further details will be announced in the near future.

Founded in 1909 as Keene Normal School, the institution became Keene Teachers College in 1939 and was named Keene State College in 1963, when it became affiliated with the University System of New Hampshire. Keene State College offers a liberal arts education through more than 40 majors in the arts, sciences, humanities, teacher education, and professional studies. Web address:

The Chamber’s mission is to be the vital link to a better community, which is fulfilled by engaging the diverse segments of the regional economy for the common goal of creating a better business community and a better community in which to live, play, and raise a family. The Chamber is primarily a volunteer- based organization that works to serve the needs of the membership through a variety of networking, educational, marketing, and community service programs. Web address:

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