Graphic courtesy of: The George Washington Forum

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OHIO celebrates Constitution Week this week

History buffs rejoice; this week is the annual celebration of the Constitution.

On Sept. 19 at 7:30 p.m., the Athens Campus will celebrate Constitution Week with a lecture from Richard Garnett, associate dean for faculty research and professor of law at the University of Notre Dame Law School in the Scripps Hall Auditorium. Garnett's lecture, titled "Religious Freedom and the Constitution," is jointly sponsored by the office of the Executive Vice President and Provost and the George Washington Forum.

"Just about every day you will encounter some reference to the Constitution either in a newspaper, or in broadcast media, or in general conversation," said Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit. "Given its centrality to our daily lives, it is appropriate that we make an effort to expand our understanding of its significance and history."

Associate Professor of History & Director of the George Washington Forum Robert Ingram, concurs with Benoit on the importance of the week.

"It seemed to me that if we are to understand the nature of religious freedom in this country that we need to think about the First Amendment in the round. And Richard Garnett is just the person to help us do that during Constitution Week," he said. "He's recognized as one of the leading legal experts on the freedom of religion has written widely on the subject. He's also had considerable practical experience both as a clerk on the U.S. Supreme Court and as a practicing attorney specializing in religious liberty cases. Most importantly, he brings to his work both clear-headed thinking and an eagerness to debate his views publicly, both of which we hope are hallmarks of all Washington Forum events."

Athens is not the only campus celebrating Constitution Week. On Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. in the Elson Hall Auditorium, the Zanesville Campus will feature a lecture titled, "Constitution Week: Why Do We Celebrate?" through their Third Thursday event series.

Sis Bowman, the vice regent of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), and Brian McKee, president of the Sons of the American Revolution, will be presenting. Bowman will talk about the history of the Constitution and Constitution Week. McKee will address myths versus realities of what is written in the document.

"It is important to provide a historical perspective on Constitution Day and we feel our Third Thursday Event series is the perfect opportunity to do so," said Cindy Linn, assistant dean of development and Third Thursday Event coordinator.

Linn added that the event is a "great example of the community collaboration so important to our campus' success."

Additionally, the local chapter of DAR is sharing an exclusive picture of the signing of the Constitution at Chillicothe's Quinn Library. The display is in conjunction with Chillicothe's permanent Religious Tolerance Exhibit, which examines materials that inspired the Founding Fathers. Exact dates and times are to be announced, but the picture is expected to be displayed throughout the week.