On Monday, September 17th, Jesuit colleges and universities across the United States hosted a variety of events to commemorate Constitution Day. The U.S. Congress approved the declaration of Constitution Day in 2005 in response to legislative efforts by the late Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-WV) to formally recognize the signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787.
Since then, Jesuit institutions have been among many across the country to honor the U.S. Constitution on-campus every year. Highlights of this year’s commemorative activities on Jesuit campuses include the following:
On September 17th, the College of the Holy Cross hosted a lecture entitled “Taking Federalism Seriously” by Boston College political science professor Marc Landy.
Creighton University’s Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs distributed free pocket-sized copies of the Constitution to students, faculty and staff.
Georgetown University joined other universities across the country to live-stream a panel presentation featuring prominent Civil War historians on the emancipation at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History’s Warner Bros. Theater.
Gonzaga University’s interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Blaine Garvin, delivered a lecture entitled "A Partnership To Be Looked Upon With Other Reverence . . . Or What The Broken Jaw of a Green Plastic Alligator Can Teach Us About Our Country and About Gonzaga University," which was streamed live online.
On September 19th, John Carroll University hosted former President Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign manager David Wilhelm, who gave a campus lecture entitled, “What Would the Authors of the Constitution Say…If They Were To Land In Ohio Today?”
On September 17th, At Loyola Marymount University, Law Professor Alexandra Natapoff gave a lecture entitled, “The Constitutional Right to Counsel,” followed by a Q & A session.
On September 18th, Loyola University Maryland hosted Dr. Lonce Sandy-Bailey of Shippensburg University to lecture on the topic, "'The greatest of all reflections on human nature; An exploration of our evolving Constitution."
Since August 17th, Loyola University New Orleans has hosted a “Countdown to Constitution Day” on its website, featuring new links to videos and articles related to the U.S. Constitution every day. On September 17th, students, faculty and staff were invited to sign the university’s Civility Values Pledge at Loyola’s student center.
Marquette University hosted a panel and discussion on the topic, "What Does it Mean to Stick to the Constitution?” with faculty from the university’s law school and political science department.
To educate the Regis University community on Constitution Day, the university’s website currently features links to various articles on the U.S. Constitution.
Coinciding with Constitution Day, Rockhurst University announced several political-themed campus events to faculty, students and staff, including an upcoming lecture from U.S. House of Representatives Chaplain, Rev. Patrick Conroy, SJ on Thursday, November 2nd.
On September 19th, Saint Peter’s University had a voting machine from the Board of Elections on the campus quad, along with literature on the current Democratic and Republican presidential candidates.
On September 17th, Santa Clara University’s School of Law hosted a panel on the topic, "Supreme Court 2011-12 Term Review” with law professor (and former Supreme Court clerk) Brad Joondeph as a facilitator.
Seattle University's School of Law hosted a panel moderated by Seattle University Professor John McKay, entitled “Plugging National Security Leaks While Preserving Free Speech,” presented by the Constitution Project, Georgetown Law and the Center for the Constitution at James Madison’s Montpelier. Notable leaders in journalism and law discussed recent investigations into alleged leaks of information with possible implications for national security.
The University of Detroit Mercy Library displayed documents related to the Constitution and Bill of Rights, promoted a collection of relevant websites, displayed online information in the reference and circulation areas, and developed the first-ever Second Life celebration of Constitution Day, using a representation of the National Archives, where the Constitution is housed.
To commemorate Constitution Day throughout the fall, the University of Scranton is distributing free copies of the U.S. Constitution to all new freshmen.