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Constitution Day Speaker


UVA Professor A. E. Dick Howard

The Madison Vision Series:
Contemporary Issues in an Engaged Society

On Tuesday, September 17th at 4:30 p.m. in the Forbes Center Concert Hall, James Madison University’s Office of the President--in conjunction with the Madison Institutes of JMU’s department of Outreach & Engagement--welcomes Professor A. E. Dick Howard.  Professor Howard will serve as the inaugural speaker for the Madison Vision Series: Contemporary Issues in an Engaged Society.   Professor Howard will deliver an address titled, James Madison's Long Shadow: What Have Other Nations Gleaned from the American Constitutional Experience?

Professor Howard, from the University of Virginia (UVA) School of Law, was awarded one of the first three honorary doctorates granted by JMU, thirty years ago this past March (on the seventy-fifth anniversary of the founding of JMU).

Professor Howard served as the executive director of the commission that wrote Virginia's current constitution and directed the successful referendum campaign for its ratification. He has been counsel to the General Assembly of Virginia and a consultant to state and federal bodies, including the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. From 1982 to 1986 he served as counselor to the Governor of Virginia, and he chaired Virginia's Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution.

Following his time on the Commission, Professor Howard was often called upon, by constitutional draftsmen in other states and abroad, to consult on their constitutions.  Professor Howard has consulted on new constitutions in Brazil, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Albania, Malawi, and South Africa.

In January 1994, Washingtonian magazine named Professor Howard as one of the most respected educators in the nation. In 2007, the Richmond Times-Dispatch and the Library of Virginia included Professor Howard on their list of the "greatest Virginians" of the 20th century.

The President’s Madison Vision Series was developed to advance the university’s efforts to prepare students to be educated and enlightened citizens who lead productive and meaningful lives.  The series will bring prominent speakers to campus to look at our current civic landscape through the prism of creating an engaged and enlightened citizenry.  It will also reflect upon the continuing relevance of the thoughts and beliefs of our Founding Fathers, particularly James Madison for whom the University is named.  Throughout the academic year, the Office of the President, in conjunction with the department of Outreach & Engagement’s Madison Institutes will, along with other departments, bring prominent speakers to look at contemporary issues as they relate to an engaged society.  Suggestions for possible future speakers are welcome and may be sent to Maggie Evans in the President’s Office at evansmb@jmu.edu.