IUP will celebrate Constitution Day on Monday, September 16, 2013, with two events free and open to the public.
This will be the ninth annual observance of the day in 1787 when the final draft of the U.S. Constitution was signed and sent to the states for review and ratification. Everyone on campus and in the community is warmly invited to attend and celebrate the 227th birthday of the Constitution.
“We often hear about how important the U.S. Constitution is, but I think a lot of us don’t actually know a lot about the document that created our national government,” said event coordinator Gwen Torges of the Political Science Department. “These events offer a chance to learn a bit about the history of the Constitution in an interesting and fun way.”
Join with students, staff, faculty, and the community for in a public reading of the Constitution. Starting with the Preamble and concluding with the 27th Amendment, we’ll bring the words of this venerated document to life. If you have never heard the Constitution read aloud, prepare to be moved. Be one of the first 100 people to arrive, and you can read part of the Constitution and receive a pocket-sized copy of the Constitution, a “We the People at IUP” t-shirt, and a star-shaped cookie.
Enjoy—and participate in—a conversation with four of the framers of the Constitution: Ben Franklin, Charles Pinckney, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison, portrayed, respectively, by political science professors David Chambers, Dighton “Mac” Fiddner, and Steven Jackson and History professor Joe Mannard.
Learn what the framers were thinking when they wrote the U.S. Constitution, as well as how they might view contemporary constitutional challenges.
The presentation is part of IUP’s Six O’Clock Series, cosponsored by the Center for Student Life.
Formal commemoration of Constitution Day is a relatively new phenomenon. Frustrated by many Americans’ lack of even basic knowledge about their government and its history, Senator Robert Byrd decided to take a proactive approach to increase civic awareness. The West Virginian Senator authored legislation—which became law in December 2004—that requires universities to teach their students about the U.S. Constitution.
Starting in 2005, every educational institution that receives any federal funds (and that includes just about every university in the country) must implement some sort of educational programming designed to raise awareness about the Constitution and its history.
Is your knowledge about the Constitution a little rusty? You’re not alone. In a survey by the National Constitution Center, only 1.8 percent of college students knew that James Madison is considered the father of the U.S. Constitution, compared to 58.3 percent who know that Bill Gates is the father of Microsoft. The following links will take you to a variety of resources that provide information about the history and content of the U.S. Constitution.
Department of Political Science