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

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Constitution Day, September 17th Educational Programs

•    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 welcomed on campuses for lectures and programs on the U.S. Constitution

The Jack Miller Center (JMC), a Philadelphia-based non-profit, is supporting Constitution Day programs on college campuses across the United States on a wide-range of topics in observance of the federally mandated Constitution Day on September 17. JMC-supported academic programs will be 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 (http://www.jackmillercenter.org). In addition, JMC distributes to some 1,500 colleges and universities information packages that offer recommendations to enhance their Constitution Day programming and include 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.”

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About the Jack Miller Center
The Jack Miller Center (JMC) is a nonpartisan 501 (C) (3) public foundation dedicated to reinvigorating education in America’s founding principles and history. JMC partners with faculty, administrators and donors to transform student access to education in American political thought and history, an education necessary for informed and engaged citizenship. To accomplish this mission, JMC builds a community of professors committed to providing this education, develops a network of partner programs that will sustain this teaching on individual campuses, and conducts national programs, like the Constitution Day Initiative, that no professor or campus would be able to do independently.

JMC was founded by Jack Miller, a prominent Chicago philanthropist, and is led by its president, Mike Ratliff (Rear Admiral, USN ret.). Miller and Ratliff began their efforts in higher education in 2004 and incorporated JMC as an independent foundation in 2007 with headquarters in Philadelphia. Today, JMC staff includes several former college professors who work closely with faculty partners on campuses nationwide helping them launch and grow new initiatives that give thousands of students new opportunities to learn about America’s constitutional tradition. JMC staff also includes nonprofit professionals with expertise in communications and donor services. For more information, visit http://www.jackmillercenter.org.

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.

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Janis Burenga
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