Maryville College observes Constitution Day Sept. 17

Sept.10, 2012
Contact: Chloe Kennedy, News and New Media Writer
865.981.8209; chloe.kennedy@maryvillecollege.edu

What is the main topic of Article I of the U.S. Constitution? Where does the Bill of Rights appear? What is a letter of marque and reprisal and what does it have to do with the Constitution?

On Mon., Sept. 17, members of the Maryville College community will attempt to answer those questions and more during “Know Your Constitution,” a fun and educational quiz game.

The event, which starts at noon in the Samuel Tyndale Wilson Center for Campus Ministry (CCM), is part of Maryville College’s observance of the 225th anniversary of the signing of the United States Constitution.

The event is free and open to the Maryville College community and the public.

“We’ll read together through the Preamble and then try to better understand the rest of the text by engaging the document through this game show format,” said Dr. Doug Sofer, associate professor of history at Maryville College. Sofer is co-hosting the event, along with Dr. Mark O’Gorman, associate professor of political science at Maryville College. “We’ve tried to put together some questions that will not only test people’s general knowledge of the Constitution but get them to think a little more deliberately about the implications of these founding principles of our republic.”

All participants and spectators will receive a free copy of the Constitution, and top-scoring participants will earn gift cards to the college bookstore.

In 2005, Congress passed legislation declaring that “each educational institution that receives federal funds for a fiscal year shall hold an educational program on the United States Constitution on September 17 of such year for the students served by the educational institution.”

The Constitution Day celebration became an annual event at Maryville College and colleges and universities across the country in 2005.

Sofer explained how Constitution Day is an opportunity for people to understand the historical significance of the nation’s most important document.

“A lot of people talk about the Constitution – what it means, the intentions of its authors, how it should properly be applied, and so on,” Sofer said. “Fewer people take the time to really read through the document and to try to understand its historical context. That’s one of the things I’d like to see happen as a consequence of Constitution Day.”