Published: Sept. 17, 2020

As the nation recognizes Constitution Day on Sept. 17, to commemorate the day in 1787 when delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed the document in Philadelphia, the University of Colorado joins in the celebration. CU President Mark Kennedy convened a panel discussion (which can be viewed here) with three of his peers from across the country and across the political spectrum to discuss the importance of the Constitution to them personally, to their universities and to the nation. Kennedy was joined by Robert Jones, chancellor of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; Linda Livingstone, president of Baylor University in Waco, Texas; and Marty Meehan, president of the University of Massachusetts system. Meehan and Kennedy served together as U.S. congressmen and collaborated often on bipartisan legislation.

“One of the things I find most striking about the Constitution is how timeless the founding ideals and precepts are and how radical they were for their time,” said Kennedy, who moderated the panel. “They were crafted during the time of monarchs, czars and ruling dynasties. No other nation in the world at that time was concerning itself with the idea that all are created equal and entitled to the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That we still reference the Constitution in affirming our rights as Americans is incredibly inspiring to me.”