JMC Supports Constitution Day Events Across the Country

Jack Miller Center Supporting Constitution Day Programs on College Campuses Across the Nation 

  • Noted scholars slated to speak on wide range of constitutional subjects include William Galston (Brookings Institution), Gordon Wood (Brown), former deputy attorney general John Yoo (University of California-Berkeley), Robert George (Princeton), Jack Rakove (Stanford), James W. Ceaser (University of Virginia), Wilfred McClay (University of Oklahoma), New York Times bestselling author, Amity Shlaes, and Benjamin Wittes (Brookings Institution).
  • Public welcome on campuses for lectures and programs on the U.S. Constitution

Philadelphia, PA, September 17, 2014 – JMC is supporting Constitution Day programs on college campuses across the United States on a wide-range of topics in observance of Constitution Day, September 17. JMC-supported academic programs are being held on campuses across the country, including Harvard, Yale, Emory, Notre Dame, Duke, Columbia, Villanova, Northwestern, Brown, DePaul, Kenyon, Rhodes and Claremont.

With a lead gift from the Andrea Waitt Carlton Family Foundation and support from other donors, JMC launched its Constitution Day initiative (CDI) in 2011 to increase awareness of the Constitution Day mandate and assist colleges in developing substantive educational programs through its network of some 750 professors on nearly 200 campuses, many of whom specialize in the study and teaching of the American constitutional tradition.

Daniel Cullen, Political Philosophy professor at Rhodes College and JMC senior fellow in constitutional studies, directs the Constitution Day Initiative.

Today, JMC offers the only national initiative to help higher education meet the federal mandate. JMC ‘s Constitution Day website page provides valuable information on how to prepare and execute programs that are substantive and appeal to students.

In addition, JMC distributes over 1200 information packages that offer recommendations to college and universities to enhance their Constitution Day programming. JMC also provides support materials such as pocket-sized copies of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence.

In the past four years, JMC has provided matching funds to nearly 150 of the most outstanding programs on college campuses across the country exploring the central role of the Constitution to understanding the American experience, past and present.

In addition to an impressive roster of professors from some of the nation’s most prestigious universities, past programs have included leading public intellectuals, members of Congress and Supreme Court Justices John Paul Stevens, Stephen Breyer and Antonin Scalia.

“I’m thrilled to see how quickly the Constitution Day Initiative (CDI) has touched campuses all across the country,” said Wilfred M. McClay, Blankenship Chair in the History of Liberty, University of Oklahoma. “The observance of Constitution Day on many of those campuses used to be minimal to nonexistent. But now, under Dan Cullen’s energetic leadership, the CDI is helping those schools to mount rich and sophisticated programming, with great speakers and exciting subjects. It’s a plus for everyone.”

2014 Constitution Day Programs

Some of America’s leading historical, legal and political scholars will examine the meaning of the Constitution in a series of lectures, debates and panels, creating a forum for learning for thousands of students across the nation. All events are free and open to the public.

“JMC is proud that its support of Constitution Day programs around the country has resulted in substantive discussions on Constitutional issues – and 2014 is no exception,” says Dr. Michael Andrews, executive officer and vice president for academic programs at the Jack Miller Center. “The richness of the discourse on the Constitution 225 years after its ratification demonstrates its centrality and relevance to our free society. Strong faculty interest and student participation reinforces the importance of our mission of bringing back the critical study of American constitutionalism to the curriculum.”

About Constitution Day

In 2004, Congress passed legislation requiring every institution of higher education receiving federal funds to hold educational programming on September 17, the day the remaining delegates to the 1787 Philadelphia Convention met to sign the Constitution. While campus administrators are generally aware of the federal mandate to hold Constitution Day programs, they often lack the resources to mount substantive events.

To read more about Constitution Day, visit JMC’s Constitution Day Initiative page, where you will find a complete list of 2014 events. The 2014 program is also available for download here.