Tom McCall Forum

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Pacific University hosted the Tom McCall Forum, an annual political debate series, from 1982-2007. It brought together prominent speakers representing liberal and conservative interests to debate political topics of national interest. Originally called the "Annual Politics and Law Forum," it was renamed in former Oregon Governor Tom Lawson McCall's honor after his death in 1983. Participants included Robert McNamara, Pat Buchanan, Tom Daschle, Howard Dean, Richard Ralph Nader, Newt Gingrich, Alan Dershowitz, James Carville, Mary Matalin, William Safire, John Sununu, Pierre Salinger, Robert Bork, Jesse Jackson, Mario Cuomo, Dan Quayle, William F. Buckley, and others. A full list of of participants and the titles of their debates are listed below.

The forum was a major annual event for students and faculty at Pacific University, and it also had considerable public exposure. The debate originally took place on the Pacific University campus in Forest Grove, Oregon. With its growing popularity, it was moved to Portland in the early 1990s. Local television stations often broadcast the debates, and C-SPAN broadcast several of the later debates to a national audience.

Chronological list of the forum dates, titles and participants:

1982, Feb. 9 (1st Annual Politics and Law Forum) “The Moral Majority: a Debate.” Cal Thomas v. Sam Brown

1983, Feb. 28 (2nd Annual Politics and Law Forum) “Total Disarmament: Hope, Hoax, or Utopia?” Howard Phillips, Mulford Q. Sibley, v. Adm. Noel Gayler

Note: Tom Lawson McCall dies Jan. 8, 1983, forum renamed in his honor.

1984, March 29 (1st Annual Tom Lawson McCall Forum) “America’s Future: Is Liberal Politics Dead?” William F. Buckley v. Dick Clark

1985, Feb. 21 (2nd Annual Tom Lawson McCall Forum) “Economic & Environmental Progress: Is there a Free Lunch After All?” George McGovern v. James Watt

1986, March 6 (3rd Annual Tom Lawson McCall Forum) “Reagan’s Stewardship of the Economy.” Arthur Laffer v. Andrew Young

1987, March 19 (4th Annual Tom Lawson McCall Forum) “Preventing Nuclear War: The ‘Star Wars’ Option.” Zbigniew Brzezinski v. Robert S. McNamara

1988, May 1 (5th Annual Tom Lawson McCall Forum) “American Foreign Policy in the 1990s: Who is the Enemy?” Jeane Kirkpatrick v. Patricia Shroeder

1989, March 9 (8th Annual Tom Lawson McCall Forum) “Law of the Land: Politics in Courts?” Robert Heron Bork v. Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.

1990, March 29 (9th Annual Tom Lawson McCall Forum) “Media in U.S. Politics: Powerbroker or Pawn?” Michael Deaver (originally Lee Atwater) v. Carl Bernstein Note: Atwater canceled due to health reasons relating to a brain tumor

(CANCELED)1991, March 11 (10th Annual Tom Lawson McCall Forum) “Leadership in the 1990s: Democracy and the National Conscience.” Mario Cuomo v. George Will Note: Cause: Mario Cuomo canceled due to financial crisis, unable to find replacement in time.

1991, October 13 (10th Annual Tom Lawson McCall Forum) “Leadership in the 1990s: Democracy and the National Conscience.” Geraldine Ferraro v. William Bennett

1992, Sept. 21 (11th Annual Tom Lawson McCall Forum) “America’s Cities: An Agenda for the Next President.” Jesse Jackson v. Peter Ueberroth

1994, Feb. 27 (12th Annual Tom Lawson McCall Forum) “The Presidency and The Press: Who Sets the Agenda?” John Sununu v. Pierre Salinger

1995, Feb. 22 (13th Annual Tom Lawson McCall Forum) “Conservatism and the Future of G.O.P.” James Carville v. William Safire

1996, Feb. 21 (14th Annual Tom Lawson McCall Forum) “From New Hampshire to November: Values v. Votes.” Lynn Martin v. Mario Cuomo

1997, Feb. 19 (15th Annual Tom Lawson McCall Forum) “Striking the Balance: The Economy & The Environment.” Dan Quayle v. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

1998, Feb. 18 (16th Annual Tom Lawson McCall Forum) “Money and Politics.” Haley Barbour (originally Mary Matalin) v. Leon Panetta Note: Matalin canceled due to health reasons relating to her second pregnancy.

1999, March 4 (17th Annual Tom Lawson McCall Forum) “Health Care: Right or Responsibility?” C. Everett Koop v. Joseph Califano

2000, Feb. 17 (18th Annual Tom Lawson McCall Forum) “Leadership for the 21st Century: Campaign 2000.” James Carville (originally Molly Ivins) v. Mary Matalin Note: Ivins canceled after being diagnosed with breast cancer.

2001, Feb. 22 (19th Annual Tom Lawson McCall Forum) “Religion, Politics, & The Constitution.” Alan Dershowitz v. Ralph Reed

2002, Feb. 21 (20th Annual Tom Lawson McCall Forum) “Who Rules America? Power in the New Millenium.” Ralph Nader v. Newt Gingrich

2003, Feb. 13 (21st Annual Tom Lawson McCall Forum) “Assessing the Bush Presidency: 9/11 to Enron.” Bill Bradley v. David Gergen

2004, Feb. 19 (22nd Annual Tom Lawson McCall Forum) “Election 2004: Winners and Losers.” Molly Ivins v. William Kristol

2005, Feb. 17 (23rd Annual Tom Lawson Forum) “American Foreign Policy Post 9/11.” Governor Howard Dean v. Richard Perle

2006, Feb. 22 (24th Annual Tom Lawson Forum) “Democracy at the Crossroads: Does Our System Work?” Patrick J. Buchanan v. Thomas A. Daschle

(CANCELED) 2007, March 8 (25th Annual Tom Lawson Forum) “Reclaiming the American Dream in a Divided Nation.” John Edwards v. Jack Kemp Note: Cause: Edwards withdrew after announcing his candidacy for president due to federal and campaign and finance laws

2007, Nov. 7 (25th Annual Tom Lawson Forum) “U.S. Foreign Policy Post ’08.” John Bolton v. Lee Hamilton

From the guide to the Tom McCall Forum Collection, 1982-2007, (Pacific University Archives)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Tom McCall Forum Collection, 1982-2007 Pacific University Archives
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Barbour, Haley, 1947- person
associatedWith Bennett, William J. (William John), 1943- person
associatedWith Bernstein, Carl, 1944- person
associatedWith Bolton, John R. person
associatedWith Bork, Robert H. person
associatedWith Bradley, Bill, 1943- person
associatedWith Brown, Sam, 1943- person
associatedWith Brzezinski, Zbigniew, 1928- person
associatedWith Buchanan, Patrick J. (Patrick Joseph), 1938- person
associatedWith Buckley, William F. (William Frank), 1925-2008 person
associatedWith Califano, Joseph A., 1931- person
associatedWith Carville, James person
associatedWith Clark, Dick, 1928- person
associatedWith Cuomo, Mario Matthew person
associatedWith Daschle, Thomas person
associatedWith Dean, Howard, 1948- person
associatedWith Deaver, Michael K. person
associatedWith Dershowitz, Alan M. person
associatedWith Ferraro, Geraldine person
associatedWith Gayler, Noel, 1914-2011 person
associatedWith Gergen, David R. (David Richmond), 1942- person
associatedWith Gingrich, Newt person
associatedWith Hamilton, Lee person
associatedWith Ivins, Molly person
associatedWith Jackson, Jesse, 1941- person
associatedWith Kennedy, Robert Francis, 1954- person
associatedWith Kirkpatrick, Jeane J. person
associatedWith Koop, C. Everett (Charles Everett), 1916- person
associatedWith Kristol, William person
associatedWith Laffer, Arthur B. person
associatedWith Martin, Lynn, 1939- person
associatedWith Matalin, Mary person
associatedWith McGovern, George S. (George Stanley), 1922- person
associatedWith McNamara, Robert S., 1916-2009 person
associatedWith Nader, Ralph person
associatedWith Panetta, Leon E., 1938- person
associatedWith Perle, Richard Norman, 1948- person
associatedWith Phillips, Howard, 1941- person
associatedWith Quayle, Dan, 1947- person
associatedWith Reed, Ralph, 1961- person
associatedWith Safire, William, 1929-2009 person
associatedWith Salinger, Pierre person
associatedWith Schlesinger, Arthur M. (Arthur Meier), 1917-2007 person
associatedWith Schroeder, Patricia S. person
associatedWith Sibley, Mulford Quickert person
associatedWith Sununu, John E., 1964- person
associatedWith Thomas, Cal person
associatedWith Ueberroth, Peter person
associatedWith Watt, James G., 1938- person
associatedWith Will, George F. person
associatedWith Young, Andrew, 1932- person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Pacific University

Corporate Body

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Ark ID: w6sc77kx

SNAC ID: 76671180