Winthrop University: West Forum - Constitution Day

We are here to help you!
Winthrop's admissions team is ready and available to help you. If you have any questions, there are three ways you can contact us:
Phone: 803/323-2191
Virtual Chat: Click here to register

For updates, announcements and special messages from Admissions, please follow us on Instagram - @winthropadmissions

Also, please see our FAQs for prospective students and families amid Covid-19.

Constitution Day

In 2004, Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) sponsored legislation that designated September 17 as "Constitution Day." September 17 is the anniversary of the signing of the United States Constitution in 1787.

All educational institutions that receive federal funding are expected to observe Constitution Day in some way. Since 2005, when Constitution Day was first observed, Winthrop University has hosted speeches by prominent scholars such as Harold Jaffe of Claremont Colleges and Dr. Timothy Boylan of Winthrop University, and through special library displays commemorating some aspect of the Constitution.

Constitution Day, Sep. 17

Beginning in 2009, the West Forum assumed responsibility for Winthrop University's commemoration of Constitution Day. The West Forum has sponsored the following Constitution Day commemorative events:

Constitution Day



In honor of the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, Dr. Karen Kedrowski will the history of women’s suffrage in the United States.



Dr. John Holder gave a lecture on the role of the Constitution in redistricting. He discussed the Constitutional nature of redistricting, along with recent court decisions related to the topic.



Free Speech and the Responsibilities of Citizenship

Dr. Michael Lipscomb discussed the basis of the Constitutional freedom of speech and expression. He related the Constitution and the Founders to later thinkers, like John Stuart Mill. He also discussed how freedom of speech and expression is a responsibility of all citizens.


Leadership and Social Change: Electoral Politics & Civic Engagement

Dr. John Holder gave a lecture on federalism, in which local, state, and federal governments have different responsibilities. Then the event will break into an interactive workshop, whereby students will consider common challenges they may face as citizens. They will consider different strategies and discuss each one's effectiveness. 


Federal and State Election Laws

Dr. Martha Kropf, Interim Director of Public Policy and Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, spoke on federal and state election laws. She covered where they converge and where they diverge, also addressing recent changes at that state level to restrict voters' access to the polls.



Federalism and the Constitution: From a Historical and Global Lens

Dr. Eddie Lee examined the evolution of states' rights and federal government powers in the US Constitution. He discussed why the federalists "won". Dr. Time Boylan looked at the Constitution from a global and comparative perspective and discussed how it has endured over time and become a model for other constitutions around the world.


Dr. John Holder: The Constitution and the Right to Vote

In honor of Constitution Day, Dr. John Holder discussed the right to vote in the US Constitution. He covered historical aspects of the right to vote as well as current obstacles with a special focus on North and South Carolina.


What are the Limits of Free Speech?

Mr Stephen Cox, attorney at law, will discuss the limitations of free speech. In particular Mr Cox will focus on the limits that national security imposes on free speech and the government's right to limit "offensive speech." The event will take place on Thursday, September 19, 2013.


Why the Electoral College is Bad for America

Dr. George C. Edwards III, University Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Texas A&M University, and renowned scholar of the US Presidency, discussed his book, Why the Electoral College is Bad for America. (2011 Yale University Press). He spoke on Thursday, September 13, 2012. 


The Second Amendment: Heller and Beyond

The West Forum hosted Ms. Suzanne Anglewicz, attorney for the National Rifle Association, as its 2011 Constitution Day Speaker on Friday, September 16, 2011. Ms. Anglewicz spoke on the importance of recent Supreme Court cases and their relevance to the Second Amendment.


The 26th Amendment and Young Adults' Political Participation

Dr. Bobbi Gentry, a 2004 Winthrop Graduate and assistant professor of political science at Milliken University was Winthrop University's 2010 Constitution Day speaker. Gentry is an expert on youth voting and political engagement.


The First Amendment and the Religious Clauses

Heather L. Weaver, an attorney from the American Civil Liberties Union Religion and Belief Program in Washington, DC, discussed the historical development of the religious freedom clauses of the First Amendment.

Additional Resources

The National Constitution Center in Philadelphia provides numerous resources for educators who are planning their own Constitution Day Celebrations

Last Updated: 4/28/20