Adam and Katie Harris had never heard the U.S. Constitution read from beginning to end. While some may yawn at the idea, the couple — Anderson University seniors — was excited. “I think it is cool,” Katie Harris said of AU’s event marking Constitution Day.
The historic document — signed 224 years ago on Sept. 17, 1787 — was read from start to finish by AU students, faculty, staff, and alumni at Helios Plaza on Friday, the day when schools across the country observed the holiday.
“We are both very patriotic, and I think the Constitution is an important thing to be highlighted every so often,” Adam Harris said. “Listening to it gives us a better understanding of where our country came from and where it has come since the Constitution was written and signed.”
[Photo: Anderson University students, faculty, staff, and alumni observe Constitution Day. Credit: Don Knight/The Herald Bulletin]
AU political science professor Dr. Michael Frank said the public reading not only fulfilled the school’s obligation of meeting a requirement set forth by Congress for educational institutions receiving public money. It also helps combat the country’s declining level of civic knowledge.
“In order for our government to operate correctly, including the way we as citizens relate to public officials, we really need to have a proper understanding of the Constitution,” Frank said.
The event, attracted about 75 and was open to anyone on campus. Copies of the Constitution, courtesy of U.S. Rep. Mike Pence, were distributed to attendees.
Kily Gaskill, an AU political science and history graduate, read Article 1, Section 8 during the public reading. She said she enjoys still being a part of the AU community and was happy to help with the program.
“It isn’t often you hear about the Constitution,” Gaskill joked. “And I think it is important to get students engaged in it. The Constitution isn’t read enough. Every time I go through it, something new pops out to me. People can learn about how the government works and what powers it has.”
AU senior Nicole Newell said she found out about the event through class.
“It gives you a chance to see how the country was laid out,” she said. “It shows you how laws came to be and how our founding fathers came together and created one constitution that we’ve stuck to (for) hundreds of years.”
— Abbey Doyle is a report for The Herald Bulletin. Story reposted with permission.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2011, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the eighth consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing, and theology.