Buttons, bottles and bags: 24 years of debate swag

Now that both the Republican and Democratic conventions are over, preparation kicks into high gear for the Oct. 9 debate at Washington University. Excited? So are we, and ready to roll up our sleeves and continue the work begun last September with the announcement of our selection as a debate host.

That includes the designing and ordering of swag — memorabilia for media, participants, students, staff and others who will be on campus in the days leading up to and including the debate. Buttons, bottles, bags, posters and other items such as media kits and t-shirts allows WashU to put a memorable stamp on the festivities. It also gives faculty, staff and students a keepsake, something to hold onto long after the lights go down and the last media truck pulls away from campus.

Here’s a pictorial look back at some of buttons, bags and other memorabilia from the debates held here at WashU — and from the one that wasn’t. (All photos by James Byard/Washington University)

Buttons, the building-blocks of swag:

1992 Debate Button2004 Debate Button2000 Debate Button2008 Debate Button

Baggage? Not going to lie, we’ve got some:

2000 Debate Bag2004 Debate Bag2008 Debate Bag

Other cool stuff over the years included notebooks and water bottles, visitor passes and coffee mugs:

2004 Debate NotebookDebate Water Bottle 2004 Debate Visitor Pass 1992 Debate Mug

T-shirts? We had it covered:

2004 Green Debate shirt 2008 VP Debate Red Shirt 2008 Debate Shirt

What if you planned a debate and the candidates decided they didn’t need the stage anymore? It can happen, and did, in 1996. Here’s the swag that lives on only in our archives:

1996 Debate Shirt 1996 Debate Shirt 1996 Debate Button Debate Bag 1996