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 228th 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 Thursday the 17th, as well as a trip to James Madison’s Montpelier on Saturday the 19th.
Thursday, 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.
Dukes Votes will be present to promote the campus-wide voter registration contest.
Thursday, September 17, 3:30pm-5:00pm
Forbes Center Concert Hall
The Office of the President, in conjunction with the Madison Institutes of JMU Outreach and Engagement, welcomes Professor Stewart Harris. Professor Harris is a Professor of Law at Appalachian School of Law (ASL) and host of National Public Radio's (NPR's) Your Weekly Constitutional.
Professor Harris will serve as the Constitution Day speaker in the Madison Vision Series. He will deliver a lecture on Madisonian Ethics as well as record his show, Your Weekly Constitutional.
This event is free and open to the public. Students, Faculty, Staff and the community are encouraged to attend.
Saturday, September 19, 12:30pm-10pm (registration required)
JMU will be providing 60 JMU students with the opportunity to spend the afternoon at James Madison's Montpelier:
- The buses will be at the Memorial Hall Lot C8, 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 Anne and Her Checkered Past, Kris Dove and the Lonesomes, River Bank Gospel Choir, Albemarle Pipe and Drum Corps and will conclude with fireworks.
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.