September 14, 2012

We Remember, We Honor, and We Learn

Many events in the history of America and the world forever changed who we are, but few stand out as much as the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 and the adoption of the United States Constitution on September 17, 1787.

On Tuesday September 11, 2012, the United States and nations around the world paused to commemorate the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. Like other solemn moments in our history, the date stands out both for the tragic and heroic happenings of that day, and for the continued resolve of the living. Commemorations at Ground Zero in New York City, rural Pennsylvania, and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., paid tribute to the victims of the attacks, both living and deceased.

No words or acts can ever fill the void created by those who lost their lives that day, or ease the pain we felt then and experience yet today. Still, there is great hope and joy to be found in the willpower of those of us who remain. While the Twin Towers will never stand again, the Freedom Tower rises in their place as a permanent reminder that those who lived and died did not do so in vain—that we in fact can and will start anew.

Our response to that horrific day in our history is an extension of the spirit and vision that gave rise to this nation in the first place. Over 225 years earlier, on July 4, 1776, America’s founders pledged their lives, fortunes, and honor to the precepts of personal liberty and national sovereignty. And in 1787, following a successful War for Independence and many lessons gained through trial and error, Americans adopted a new constitution in an effort to start once more, to ensure those who lived and died in the cause of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” did not do so without reason or purpose.

Starting next week on Monday September 17 (see the schedule below), Northwood University will once again take up our part to ensure the same purpose that marked events of September 11, 2001 and September 17, 1787 will live on well into the future as we celebrate Patriot Day and Constitution Day. True to our nature and tradition, there will be plenty of opportunity for learning in the process—learning that stays at the heart of who we are, what we stand for, and how we honor those who made it possible for us to be here today.

Enjoy the weekend!


Keith A. Pretty, J.D.
President and CEO
Northwood University
4000 Whiting Drive
Midland, MI 48640

Northwood University’s 2012 Constitution Day Events

Florida Campus 

  • Tuesday 9/18 at 3:30 PM in the Turner Auditorium: “Faculty Presentations on the U.S. Constitution and Current Political Issues.” 
    • Associate Professor Justin Harmon will lead faculty in interpretations of current events and their relationship to the Constitution: the regulation of commerce at the state or the federal level; gun control; and the influence of corporations in the electoral process.
  • Classroom lectures and exercises open to all students:
    • HIS 2150, Adjunct Faculty member Glenn Swift—A discussion on the making of the U.S. Constitution with a writing assignment on why the Constitution means different things to different people
    • PSC 2010, Adjunct Faculty member Faye Rosenberg—Week long lectures on the development of the Constitution, its origination, its existence as a living document, and its application and interpretation in both Colonial times and in modern America
    • HUM 3110, Adjunct Faculty member Sherry Penn-Crawford—A discussion about the Constitution as a codification of the meanings and values developed during colonization and their representation in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, as well as changes in those meanings and values over the years
    • PHL 3000, Associate Professor Harmon—A class project to develop a constitution for a fictitious country, and then comparing that product with the U.S. Constitution 

Michigan Campus 

Northwood’s Forum for Citizenship and Enterprise, directed by Dr. Glenn Moots, and the Jack Miller Center for Teaching America’s Founding Principles and History will sponsor three presentations this fall in commemoration of Constitution Day. All will take place in the Griswold Lecture Hall. 

  • On Tuesday 9/18 at 7:00 PM Dr. Jeff Morrison will speak on, “The Constitutional Leadership of George Washington.” Dr. Morrison is Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Government at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia and is a faculty member at the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation in Washington, D.C.
  • On Tuesday 10/23 at 7:00 PM, Dr. Chris Beneke will address the subject of “Religion, the Presidency, and the Constitution.” Dr. Beneke is Associate Professor of History at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts.
  • On Tuesday 11/27 at 7:00 PM, Dr. Daniel Dreisbach will deliver a lecture titled, “Jefferson's 'Wall of Separation' and the Constitution.”  Dr. Dreisbach is a professor in the School of Public Affairs at American University in Washington, D.C.

Texas Campus 

  • On Monday 9/17 Texas students will receive a “U.S. Constitution Facts” booklet with discussions regarding the Constitution to follow in several classes that day.
  • On Tuesday 9/18 at 9:30 AM in the Patterson Chapel, Cedar Hill Texas Mayor Rob Franke will speak on “What makes our Constitution so powerful?  A look at the role of Northwood and local government.” Dr. Franke was vested with an honorary Doctor of Laws from Northwood University in 2002.