News & Events

UMPI celebrates Constitution Day with presentation on 13th and 14th Amendments

The University of Maine at Presque Isle will celebrate the 229th birthday of the signing of the U.S. Constitution with a special presentation delivered by Dr. Brent Andersen, an assistant professor of political science (adjunct) at the University.

On Friday, September 16, from Noon to 1 p.m., students, faculty, staff and community members are invited to observe Constitution Day by gathering in the University’s Campus Center Room 118 for the special lecture, which is titled How the 13th and 14th Amendments Changed the Constitution. This event is free and open to the public.

Dr. Andersen developed this lecture for the Maine Humanities Council’s “World In Your Library” program. In it, he explains how these two amendments engendered a change in constitutional law, and paved the way for several landmark Supreme Court decisions, including Brown v. Board of Education, which overturned legalized racial segregation in public education, and Obergefell v. Hodges, which struck down state laws prohibiting same-sex marriages.

Dr. Andersen has given several presentations at UMPI in celebration of Constitution Day, including several “Living History” lectures. He explained that the theme of this particular Constitution Day event was in recognition of the 150th anniversary of the 14th Amendment: “The Maine Humanities Council put together a year-long program on the 14th Amendment, which I was happy to participate in. I thought the lecture I gave would be a good fit for students here at UMPI, as well as community members. I’m also planning some audience participation, for those that are so inclined.”

Congress designated September 17 as Constitution Day – a national celebration of our country’s founding document – to commemorate the Sept. 17, 1787, signing of the Constitution. In 2004, Congress passed a spending bill that included a provision requiring every school and college that receives federal money to teach about the Constitution on Sept. 17, with a grace period should that day fall on a weekend or conflict with established schedules.

To provide education to the entire campus community, the University plans to install a display at the Center for Innovative Learning featuring information about the Constitution. As well, anyone logging onto the University’s homepage can click on the Constitution Day box, which will lead them to an interactive version of the Constitution at www.constitutioncenter.org/constitution.

The Constitution Day lecture is a free event and the public is invited to attend. Pocket-sized printed copies of the U.S. Constitution will be distributed during the event. For more information, call 768-9452 or email gshaw@maine.edu.