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Chesapeake College plans Constitution Day program

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

WYE MILLS – It may not receive the attention accorded the Fourth of July, but John Haas says Constitution Day deserves more than just passing notice.

"The Fourth of July celebrates our independence, but Constitution Day marks the beginning of a new form of government that´s stood the test of time," said Haas, who is an assistant professor of history at Chesapeake College.

While the Constitution was actually signed on September 17, 1787, the college is planning to recognize that important historical event with an 8:30 a.m. Constitution Day program on Wednesday, September 21st in Room H117 of the college´s Kent Humanities Building. The program, which is free and open to the public, will feature a panel discussion on the role and influence of the judiciary and the U.S. Constitution in American society.

"It´s a timely issue, given there are currently two vacancies on the United States Supreme Court," said Haas. "I think this is an ideal time to focus attention on how the interpretation of the Constitution impacts daily life."

Haas will moderate a panel that includes Retired Circuit Court Judge J. Owen Wise, who sits on the Chesapeake College Board of Trustees, and Chesapeake College President Stuart M. Bounds.

Judge Wise served as 2nd Circuit Administrative Judge for 12 years and was Caroline County State´s Attorney from 1970 to 1978. He is a graduate of Washington and Lee University and earned his law degree from the University of Maryland.

Dr. Bounds, who is in his ninth year as Chesapeake College´s president, earned both Bachelor of Arts in Government and Politics and Master of Arts in Government and Public Administration degrees from the University of Maryland at College Park. He completed a doctorate in Higher Education at the College of William and Mary.

Haas will question the panelists, who will also take questions from Haas´ political science class and others in attendance.

Dr. Bounds said the U.S. Constitution deserves the attention it will be receiving.

"The writers of the Constitution created a remarkable document," said Dr. Bounds. "They devised a system of checks and balances within the three branches of our federal government that has served our country exceedingly well. It´s amazing that a document written 218 years ago was written with the foresight and flexibility to still be relevant today."

Chesapeake College will also have constitutional artifacts on display in the college´s Learning Resources Center starting September 19th.

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