Happy Constitution Day!

Today marks 227 years since our founding fathers signed the U.S. Constitution.  In Eastman, students enjoyed red, white and blue snow cones and received pocket-sized Constitution Books. Right now in Macon, students are playing Constitution-themed trivia. Our History and Political Science departments hosted an event on the Dublin campus titled “The Civil Rights Act at 50.”

At a time when unrest and conflict in places around the world dominate the headlines, we are fortunate to live in a nation where the rule of law and respect for human self-governance underpins the United States. Across all of our campuses, let us reflect on the liberties that lay the foundation for public higher education.

The very first amendment guarantees us the free exercise of religion, freedom of expression, a free press, the right to peaceably assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. At its core, higher education is a form of assembly and expression.  We gather to learn, discuss, debate, and shed light on information that calls people to action.  We often disagree, yet we respect the right of each person to hold an opinion, to question the status quo, to discover truth and meaning for him or herself.

Before we even get to the amendments, the U.S. Constitution begins with a call to collective improvement: “We the people, in order to form a more perfect union…”  As we continue our work together moving toward university status, I thank you  for your contributions to our improvement as an institution and wish you a happy Constitution Day.