Constitution Day 2011 Celebration to Feature Free Events

Posted on 9/9/2011 10:10:40 AM

IUP will celebrate Constitution Day on September 20, 2011, with several events free and open to the community.

Events are sponsored by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Political Science Department.

Constitution Day commemorates the September 17 signing of the U.S. Constitution, which is 224 years old this year.

Events begin with a public reading of the Constitution by members of the IUP community on September 20 from noon to 1:00 p.m. in the Oak Grove.

The first one hundred participants will receive a special “We the People at IUP” Constitution Day T-shirt, as well as a pocket-sized copy of the Constitution.

From 6:00 to 7:00 p.m., the Political Science Department will present “A Casual Conversation with the Framers of the U.S. Constitution” in the Crimson Event Center, located in Folger Hall.

Political Science professor Mac Fiddner portrayed Constitution writer Charles Pinckney during IUP's 2009 celebration of Constitution Day.

The presentation is a conversation with four of the Constitution’s authors—Ben Franklin, James Madison, Charles Pinckney, and Alexander Hamilton—portrayed by Political Science professors David Chambers, Joe Mannard, Mac Fiddner, and Steve Jackson, respectively.

The discussion is designed to provide insight into the authors’ thoughts when they wrote the U.S. Constitution, as well as how they might view contemporary constitutional challenges. Audience participation and questions are encouraged.

“Everyone likes to say what an important, almost sacred, document the U.S. Constitution is,” Gwen Torges, Political Science professor and Constitution Day event organizer, said. “But survey research suggests that most Americans haven’t read the Constitution and don’t have a clear idea of just what’s in it.

“The commemoration of Constitution Day provides an ideal opportunity to take a closer look at how our government is structured and what powers it does—or doesn’t—have. In the past, these events have generated a surprising level of interest and discussion about just what the Founding Fathers were thinking and what they hoped to achieve in writing the Constitution.”