U.S. Constitution

"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own Governors must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives."
James Madison, 1788

On September 12, 2022, universities and schools throughout the country will celebrate Constitution Day, the day in 1787 when the final draft of the US Constitution was signed and sent off to the states for review and ratification.

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

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

Events 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.

Participants will receive a special “We the People at IUP” Constitution Day T-shirt, a pocket-sized Constitution, and a star-shaped cookie.

“What Would Our Founding Fathers Say?”

In collaboration with the IUP College of Arts and Humanities and the Department of Political Science, "What Would Our Founding Fathers Say?" will be presented on September 12 at 6:00 p.m. in the Hadley Union Building's Ohio Room.

The presentation is a conversation with four of the Constitution's authors—Ben Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, Charles Pinckney and James Madison. These Founders will be portrayed by IUP faculty members.

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

The presentation is the opening program for IUP's Six O'Clock Series. This programming, offered Monday evenings throughout the academic semester, is organized to offer IUP students, employees, and community members the opportunity to learn about current issues and approach familiar topics from a new perspective.

Online Resources About the US Constitution

Is your knowledge of the US Constitution a little rusty? You're not alone. According to a survey by the National Constitution Center, only 1.8 percent of college students knew that James Madison is considered the father of the US 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.

  • The National Archives provides many online resources related to the Constitution, including the text of the US Constitution and the history of the creation of the US Constitution.
  • The National Constitution Center offers commentary to explain the meaning of the Constitution in an Interactive Constitution.
  • Listen to discussions of contemporary constitutional issues produced by NPR's Justice Talking radio program.
  • The Constitution Project seeks consensus solutions to difficult legal and constitutional issues. It does this through constructive dialogue across ideological and partisan lines, and through scholarship, activism, and public education efforts.

About Constitution Day

Although this year marks the 233rd anniversary of the Constitution's signing, formal commemoration of Constitution Day is a relatively new phenomenon. Frustrated by the American public's 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 US Constitution. Starting in 2005, on September 17 each year, 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.

Constitution Day at IUP Sponsors

  • Office of the President
  • Office of the Provost
  • Division of Student Affairs
  • Office of Social Equity
  • Civic and Citizen Engagement Initiative
  • College of Arts and Humanities 
  • Criminology and Criminal Justice Department
  • English Department
  • History Department
  • Philosophy and Religious Studies Department
  • Political Science Department