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University Relations

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September 7, 2005
Contact: Jonathan Earle, Dole Institute, (785) 864-4900

KU announces 5 events to celebrate the signing of the Constitution

LAWRENCE -- Five events at the University of Kansas in September will celebrate the signing of the U.S. Constitution, Chancellor Robert Hemenway announced today. A vote on Sept. 17, 1787, by delegates at the Constitutional Convention sent the Constitution to the states for ratification. KU's events all take place on or before Sept. 17, 2005.

Congress enacted a law in 2004 requiring all educational institutions receiving federal funding to educate its students about the Constitution each year on Sept. 17, which has been declared Constitution Day

" Although we will celebrate Constitution Day once a year, at the University of Kansas we educate our students about the democracy in which we live every day," Chancellor Hemenway said.

The Dole Institute of Politics at KU will host two panel discussions on the role of the U.S. Constitution and the increasingly contentious process of filling vacancies on the U.S. Supreme Court:

  • "How Should the U.S. Constitution Be Interpreted?," 7:30 p.m., Sept. 13. Fred N. Six, retired justice of the Kansas Supreme Court, will moderate the panel composed of Stephen McAllister, former KU law dean and clerk for Supreme Court Justices Byron White and Clarence Thomas; and KU law professor Rick Levy, an expert in Constitutional law.
  • "Full Court Press: The Battle for the Supreme Court." 8 p.m., Sept. 15. It will focus both on the nomination of Judge John Roberts to succeed William Rehnquist as Chief Justice and on the politics of selecting, nominating, vetting and confirming future justices.

Panelists will include Frederick McClure, legislative strategist for the confirmation of Justice Clarence Thomas in 1991, and political scientist Michael Comiskey, author of "Seeking Justices: the Judging of Supreme Court Nominees." Moderator will be KU law professor Chris Drahozal, a former clerk to Supreme Court Justice Byron White.

The Unclassified Senate and University Support Staff Senate will host a free viewing of a national Constitution Day video-cast, "Free Speech in the Digital Age" at 12:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 16, in Alderson Auditorium in the Kansas Union.

National Public Radio's Margot Adler hosts the video that examines censorship in the libraries. A question and answer session with Stella Bentley, dean of libraries; and Mike Kautsch, professor of media law; will follow at 1:30 p.m. The brown bag event is open to all; complimentary beverages will be provided. The Edwards Campus also is making the video-cast available at 12:30 p.m. in Regents Center 110.

Also Friday, Constitution Day on Wescoe Beach, will begin at 1 p.m. Senior Vice Provost Kathleen McCluskey Fawcett, Student Body President Nick Sterner and Student Body Vice President Mary Nell Jones will lead a reading of the Preamble at KU. Carillonneur Elizabeth Berghout will close the celebration with the ringing of the Campanile bells. Copies of the Preamble will be available that day at Wescoe Beach from members of the Civic Literary Council. The Dole Institute, the Office of the Provost and the Department of Music and Dance will coordinate the program.

On Constitution Day Sept. 17, fans at the KU football game in Memorial Stadium will be invited to recite the preamble at 6 p.m. before the game begins. Chancellor Hemenway will lead the reading as Berghout rings the Campanile bells. The KU Band will then play the national anthem. The Department of Intercollegiate Athletics will join the Dole Institute, the Provost's office and Music and Dance to coordinate this program.

For more information contact the Dole Institute at (785) 864-4900, or log on to the website at The Dole Institute of Politics is located at 2350 Petefish Drive, next to the Lied Center for the Performing Arts on the west side of the KU campus.

Summary of KU Constitution Celebration Events

Panel Discussion: How Should The U.S. Constitution Be Interpreted?
Tuesday, September 13, 2005, 7:30 p.m.
Dole Institute of Politics

Panel Discussion: Full Court Press: The Battle for the Supreme Court
Thursday, Sept. 15, 2005, 8 p.m.
Dole Institute of Politics

Video-cast "Free Speech in the Digital Age"
Friday, Sept. 16, 2005,, 12:30 p.m.
Alderson Auditorium, Kansas Union

Constitution Day on Wescoe Beach
Friday, Sept. 16, 2005, 1 p.m.
Wescoe Beach

Constitution Day at Memorial Stadium (Pre-game)
Saturday, Sept. 17, 2005, 6 p.m.
Memorial Stadium


The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus. | (785) 864-3256 | 1314 Jayhawk Blvd., Lawrence, KS 66045