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Michigan State University's Michigan Political Leadership Program is returning to its roots in its 25th annual fundraising dinner this coming March, celebrating its 30th class of fellows.

The university's nationally recognized training grounds for rising leaders will celebrate its annual homecoming and anniversary by celebrating its 2019 class of MPLP Fellows along with alumni who were members of the very first class.

“We are gratified by this noteworthy milestone,” said Matt Grossmann, director of MSU’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research, where MPLP has made its academic home since 1992.

As part of the 25th anniversary celebration, MPLP has invited political scientist and analyst Dr. Larry J. Sabato to keynote the annual fundraising dinner on March 25, 2020. Dr. Sabato, a bestselling author and award-winning television commentator and political predictor, will preview the 2020 election. The fundraiser returns to East Lansing on Wednesday, March 25 at the Kellogg Center on the MSU campus.

The event opens with a reception at 5 p.m. and dinner and program at 6 p.m. Tickets, tables and sponsorships are available now. Click here to link to tickets.

Moderator Tim Skubick will be celebrating a milestone of his own – 50+ years in news reporting and status as Michigan’s longest serving state Capitol reporter. He’s also known for his hard-charging style as senior Capitol Correspondent at “Off the Record,” weekly Michigan Public TV coverage of the governor’s office, the state Legislature, the political campaign trail and state government.

“We’re looking forward to a celebration of MPLP, including our many successful alumni and the next generation of Michigan’s political leaders” Grossmann said. See a complete list of MPLP alumni by clicking on this link.

Since its founding, MPLP has trained more than 600 people in personal leadership, policy analysis and good governing in a series of weekends over 10 months. More than half of the bipartisan program’s alumni have served, or currently are serving in elected or appointed political positions, including 17 current members of the Michigan Legislature.

Dr. Sabato is a New York Times best-selling author, has won four Emmys, and is recognized as one of the nation’s most respected political analysts. He appears multiple times a week on national and international TV, including FOX, CNN, MSNBC, and CNN International.

A Rhodes Scholar, Dr. Sabato is the founder and director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, and has had visiting appointments at Oxford and Cambridge universities in England. He is the author or editor of two dozen books on American politics. He has taught over 20,000 students in his 40-year career, and the University of Virginia has given him its highest honor, The Thomas Jefferson Award. Next year, Sabato will celebrate his 50th year of association with the University of Virginia.

Dr. Sabato is the editor and lead author of the recent book, "The Blue Wave," which explores the 2018 election and its outcome.

Professor Sabato heads up Sabato’s Crystal Ball, which has won numerous awards. The Pew Charitable Trust recognized the Crystal Ball as the #1 leader in the field of political prediction, and The Daily Beast designated it as one of the top political sites on the web. A thorough statistical analysis of all 2018 prognosticators found that the Crystal Ball was the best.

“Sabato’s pithy, witty and thoughtful,” said Grossmann. “He’s factual and straightforward. His gracious, bipartisan style will appeal to Democrats, Republicans and Independents alike.”

MPLP begins its training year when the 2020 calendar year opens and invites those who are interested in political, corporate and nonprofit leadership to apply for its 24 Fellowship positions. Applications are generally available in the spring and due in September. Applications just closed for the Class of 2020. Those who are interested in MPLP are welcome inquire about applications during the year.

“We seek Democrats and Republicans from all across the state, from Detroit to Grand Rapids and from Coldwater to the Upper Peninsula,” said MPLP Co-Director Susy Avery, a former Republican State Party chair and executive in the administration of Gov. John Engler.

“Many of our MPLP graduates find the program life-changing, offering them new opportunities to learn, lead and succeed,” said Steve Tobocman, former state House Majority Floor Leader and a national leader in immigrant economic development.

Applicants are asked to be at least 21, a registered vote in Michigan, able to attend all training sessions and not be seeking political office in the same year they apply for MPLP.

“We are especially looking applicants who are interested in running for public office, who are dedicated to sound public policy, may have experience in local community activities and electoral politics and have a willingness to learn and explore different points of view,” Tobocman said. "We thank all of those who applied for the Class of 2020."

Download high resolution photo of Larry Sabato by clicking this link.