Constitution Day, September 12

2:00 — Public reading of the Constitution

  • Stapleton Library by Oak Grove

6:00 — “What Would Our Founding Fathers Say?”

  • Six O’Clock Series
  • HUB Ohio Room

Indiana University of Pennsylvania will celebrate Constitution Day on September 12 with two events free and open to the community.

Constitution Day commemorates the September 17, 1787 signing of the US Constitution, which is 235 years old this year.

Sponsored by the College of Arts and Humanities and the Department of Political Science, events at IUP will begin with the traditional public reading of the Constitution by members of the IUP community on September 12 from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. in front of Stapleton Library, facing the Oak Grove. IUP President Michael Driscoll will begin the event with a reading of the Constitution’s Preamble.

This is the fourteenth year that IUP has hosted a public reading of the Constitution. As at past public readings, the first 100 participants will receive a special “We the People at IUP” T-shirt, as well as a pocket-sized copy of the Constitution and a star-shaped cookie.

In the case of inclement weather, the public reading will take place in the lobby of Jane E. Leonard Hall.

Later in the day, the intentions of the authors of the US Constitution will be explored in the Six O’Clock Series presentation, “What Would Our Founding Fathers Say?” from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. in the Hadley Union Building Ohio Room.

Hands of a person in 18th-century clothing holding pamphlets of the US ConstitutionWhen the Constitution was written in 1787, Thomas Jefferson said that he didn’t expect it to last more than 20 years. At 233 years old, the US Constitution is the oldest continuous constitution in the world. 

Four of the Constitution’s authors—Ben Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, Charles Pinckney, and James Madison—will discuss the work they did at the Constitutional Convention.

This September 13 program will allow participants a chance to ask these authors of the 1787 Constitution what they think. What did they hope to accomplish with the Constitution? Do they think that it’s time to draft a new governing document?

“More than ever, people are hungry for information to help them make sense of what’s going on with their government,” Gwen Torges, chair of IUP’s Department of Political Science and coordinator of IUP’s Constitution Day activities, said. “Constitution Day is a great chance to talk about these issues, dig into what the Constitution says, and have conversations about how our government is structured, as well as the relationship between the government and the people. My students inspire me with their eagerness to learn about the government, and how they can get involved to make the world a better place,” she said.