University of Colorado President Mark Kennedy convened a panel of some of his national peer higher education colleagues to celebrate Constitution Day, the annual observance of the creation and adoption of the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787.
The panel discussion can be viewed here.
The discussion features 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 from Massachusetts and Minnesota, respectively.
“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.”
Kennedy and the panelists discussed what the ideals and precepts of the Constitution mean to them personally and to their universities. They also gave their insights on what they mean to the nation. Additionally, the university leaders talked about how today’s heightened focus on social justice influenced their perspective on the Constitution.
“I firmly believe it is within our power to come together as a people and form a more perfect union,” Kennedy said. “The Constitution is our roadmap for doing so.”