Constitution Day comes to UMSL

constitution day painting

UMSL student Michael Dunlap works on a painting on the bridge to the Millennium Student Center in anticipation of Constitution Day. (Photo by August Jennewein)

The bridge to the Millennium Student Center looks a little brighter and more patriotic right now, thanks to a group of University of Missouri–St. Louis students preparing for Constitution Day.

Students designed and installed their own paintings centered on the theme “We the People” under the direction of Maggie Peeno, art student teaching supervisor, and Lynn Staley, associate teaching professor of English. All are invited to contribute by writing out in six words what the U.S. Constitution means to them.

Constitution Day, celebrated on Sept. 17 at UMSL, is part of the American Democracy Project’s educational initiative on college campuses. Universities are encouraged to use the day as an opportunity to reflect on our government, liberties and obligations as citizens.

“Constitution Day gives our students, staff and faculty yet one more opportunity to reflect on and appreciate our government and the principles on which it was founded, and challenge ourselves to become a ‘more perfect union’ through engaged citizenship,” said Patricia Zahn, community outreach and engagement manager for Des Lee Cooperative Vision and a member of the Constitution Day Planning Committee.

The “We the People” display on the bridge is just one of several events in celebration of Constitution Day. Other activities Wednesday include:

  • “The Common Defense 227 Years Later: The Challenges Facing US Foreign Policy Today” presentation by J. Martin Rochester, Curators’ Distinguished Teaching Professor of Political Science. 11 a.m., 314 Millennium Student Center.
  • Constitution Day menu and cupcakes by Sodexo, with introduction and comments from the six-word project. Noon, The Nosh, Millennium Student Center.
  • Reflections on the Constitution’s preamble presented by Triton Toastmasters. 12:15 p.m. to 1 p.m., The Nosh, Millennium Student Center.
  • Film showing of “Restrepo” with discussion. 1 p.m., 313 Millennium Student Center.

The 2014 UMSL Constitution Day Planning Committee includes Deborah Burris, Office of Equal Opportunity & Diversity; Jennifer Fantroy, Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Life; Anna Glushko, The Current; Jessica Long-Pease, Office of Student Life; Maggie Peeno, Art Education; Cameron Roark, Student Government Association; Lynn Staley, English; and Patricia Zahn, Des Lee Collaborative Vision/Community Outreach & Engagement.

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