Read the Constitution and Meet the Founding Fathers in Celebration of Constitution Day

Posted on 9/13/2017 2:24:17 PM

IUP professors dressed as the founding fathers posing with Political Science professor Gwen TorgesIndiana University of Pennsylvania will celebrate Constitution Day on September 18, 2017, with two events free and open to the community.

Constitution Day commemorates the September 1787 signing of the US Constitution, which is 230 years old this year.

Sponsored by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Department of Political Science, events at IUP will lead off with a public reading of the Constitution by members of the IUP community from noon to 1:00 p.m. in front of Stabley Library, facing the Oak Grove. 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. IUP President Michael Driscoll will begin the event with a reading of the Preamble.

President Driscoll reads from the US Constitution on the IUP celebration of Constitution DayThe intentions of the authors of the US Constitution will be explored in the Six O’Clock Series presentation that evening: “A Casual Conversation with the Framers of the U. S. Constitution” from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. in the Hadley Union Building Ohio Room. Three of the Constitution’s authors—Ben Franklin, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison—will discuss the challenges in drafting the Constitution, and will speculate about what the Founders would think of today’s politics. These Founders will be portrayed, respectively, by IUP political science professors David Chambers and Steven Jackson and by history professor Joe Mannard. Audience participation and questions are encouraged.

“The discussion will explore and examine issues important to the founders, like how to run a country with people sometimes wanting different things, as well as how to talk about those things, especially when opinions are very, very different,” Gwen Torges, Political Science faculty member and Constitution Day organizer, said. “How do we respect free speech, but protect ourselves from the hurt that free speech can cause?”

Students wait in line to read from the US Constitution of the IUP celebration of Constitution Day“Democracies don’t work very well if people don’t understand how the government works. One of the most important things that we can do is to read and understand our Constitution. Constitution Day gives us a chance to pause and think about what ‘We the People’ want from our government,” she said.