UK Happenings

UK to Celebrate Constitution's 231st Birthday

photo of web banner for UK Libraries Constitution Day celebration

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 17, 2018) The University of Kentucky is celebrating America's most influential government document today (Monday), Sept. 17, on the 231st anniversary of its signing.

This year, UK will mark Constitution Day with various events held across campus.

To start the day, UK students, faculty and staff are invited to have Coffee with the Constitution from 10 a.m.-1 p.m., at White Hall Classroom Building's patio. Grab coffee and donuts and pick up a copy of the Constitution to learn more about the source of the day's events. There will also be interactive activities and information on voter registration. 

A Constitution Day Celebration hosted by UK Libraries will be held from 10 a.m.-1 p.m., in the atrium of William T. Young Library. Civic knowledge will be tested with trivia, a scavenger hunt in which individuals can become acquainted with their government library will be held, and government information swag will be gifted to participants.

From 4-6 p.m., Student Center Cinema will present a free showing of the Academy Award-winning film "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" at Worsham Cinema, in the Gatton Student Center. When an idealistic young Jefferson Smith (James Stewart) winds up appointed to the U.S. Senate, he gains the mentorship of Sen. Joseph Paine (Claude Rains), a not so noble colleague. After Paine attempts to discredit Smith, the new senator takes his case to the Senate floor in this movie classic.

Following the movie, learn "Why the Constitution is Relevant to Today's Students" from 6-7 p.m., in the Senate Chamber at Gatton Student Center. Join UK General Counsel Bill Thro for a discussion on the supreme law of the United States. Thro, an accomplished university attorney, appellate advocate and legal scholar, will share strategic advice on critical legal and policy issues confronting a public flagship land-grant research university.

To round out the day's festivities, join the campus community for "An Evening with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham" beginning at 7 p.m., in Worsham Cinema. This free public talk, presented by the Gaines Center for the Humanities and Kentucky Humanities, will explore the relevance of Robert Penn Warren's book "All the King's Men" from politics to race to regional culture. Meacham, author of "The Soul of America: The Battle for our Better Angels," will hold a book signing following his talk.

In addition to the day's activities, UK Libraries is sponsoring a month-long exhibit of the U.S. Constitution. Individuals can stop by Young Library throughout the month of September to explore the research, biographies and accompanying materials pertaining to this historic document. Digital web pages and additional information can also be explored at different location points within the library's atrium. A companion website for UK Libraries programming can be found here:

Students are also encouraged to reflect on what they learned through the First Amendment Essay Competition. Undergraduate students are invited to submit an essay defending their position on the First Amendment based on the prompt provided. Cash prizes of $500, $300 and $200 will be presented to first, second and third place winners. Honorable mention recipients will receive the book "Hamilton" and a copy of the "Hamilton" Broadway soundtrack. Essays are limited to 750 words and should be submitted on BBNvolved

Federally funded educational institutions are required annually to hold educational programming in remembrance of this historic and significant event. For more information on the history of Constitution Day, visit:

For those sharing their Constitution Day experience on social media, UK organizers invite the campus community to use the hashtag #ConstitutionDayAtUK.

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue