September 17 is recognized in the United States as Constitution Day and Citizenship Day. The purpose of Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, which was officially established in 2004, is to commemorate the creation and signing of the supreme law of the land and to honor and celebrate the privileges and responsibilities of U.S. citizenship for both native-born and naturalized citizens. Federal law requires that all schools receiving federal funds hold an educational program for their students on September 17 of each year. This year marks the 227th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution. James Madison University is the only university in the United States named for the fourth president, who is known as the Father of the U.S. Constitution.
Celebrate Constitution Day at JMU!
James Madison University will commemorate the day with a variety of activities on campus on Tuesday the 17th, as well as a trip to James Madison’s Montpelier on Saturday the 21st.
Wednesday, September 17, 10am-1pm
The Commons (near D-Hall)
Pocket-sized copies of the Constitution will be distributed to the public, and cake will be served.
Wednesday, September 17, 3:30pm-4:30pm
Forbes Center Concert Hall
The Office of the President, in conjunction with the Madison Institutes of JMU Outreach and Engagement, welcomes Justice William C. Mims. Justice Mims became a member of the Supreme Court of Virginia in 2010. He previously served as Attorney General of Virginia and Chief Deputy Attorney General. He also served in the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates.
Justice Mims will serve as the Constitution Day speaker in the Madison Vision Series. He will deliver a lecture titled, Be It Ever So Humble: Justice as a Virtue.
This event is free and open to the public. Students, Faculty, Staff and the community are encouraged to attend.
Saturday, September 20, 12:30pm-10pm (registration required)
JMU will be providing 120 JMU students with the opportunity to spend the afternoon at James Madison's Montpelier:
- The buses will be at the Godwin Hall Lot G, at 12:30 p.m. for a 1:00 departure. Buses will return to campus by approximately 10 p.m. (buses will depart Montpelier following the fireworks, which are scheduled to go off at 8:15 p.m.).
The afternoon will include tours of the house, costumed historical interpretations, hot air baloon rides, carriage rides, performances by the United States Navy Band Commodores among other performers and will conclude with fireworks.
Hot air balloon rides will be available ($10/per person) starting at 3:30 p.m.
Food vendors will be on site for you to purchase your dinner.
Transportation and admission are being provided free of charge! Space is limited, so please register early.
For our JMU teachers (or any others), Constitution-related lesson plans and classroom programming ideas are available online at here.