Two ways to advance your knowledge about the U.S. Constitution

Wide photograph of PT Barracks at The Citadel

Constitution Day recognition events scheduled at The Citadel Sept. 21 and 23, open to public

Every cadet at The Citadel is required to take a course to learn more about America’s founding documents. They take it during their sophomore year, and it is an element of the Corps of Cadets’ requisite four years of leadership training that complements their academic and military training.

The chair of The Citadel Leadership Studies program, Faith Rivers James, JD, developed the course that began in the spring of 2020.

“Our concern is preparing cadets for future leadership roles by providing them with the knowledge needed to make an informed decision about their role in Democracy,” said Rivers James. “We examine the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, of course. We also study advocacy pieces about the documents like the Federalist Papers.”

With national Constitution Day approaching (Sept. 17), the college continues to reinforce the importance of constitutional learning. The Citadel School of Humanities and Social Sciences is sponsoring two events. Both are free and open to everyone, facemasks required.

The first is at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 21. It will be a public reading of the Constitution involving volunteers from across campus and the community. Those wishing to volunteer should contact Professor Scott Segrest at It will be followed by a discussion led by a professor of Political Science.

The event will take place in Bond Hall, 165. There is free parking on campus. A virtual campus map is here.

The second event, from 7- 9 p.m. on Sept. 23, will feature a constitutional expert, Prof. Richard Garnett, JD. He is the Paul J. Schierl/Fort Howard Corporation Professor of Law and Concurrent Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame, where he is also the founding director of the Program on Church, State & Society. 

“We can all learn from Prof. Garnett’s expertise on First Amendment issues, especially on the freedoms of speech, association and religion. Additionally, he is a leading authority on questions of religion in politics and society,” said Scott Segrest, Ph.D., assistant professor of Political Science at The Citadel. “Professor Garnett earned his J.D. from Yale Law School and clerked for the late Chief Justice of the United States, William H. Rehnquist, and also for the late Chief Judge of the S.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, Richard S. Arnold.”

The event on Sept. 23 will be held in the Altman Center, which is the building at the end of the football stadium facing Fishburne St. The address is 68C Hagood Ave., and there is complimentary parking just outside of the building.

Both of the events are sponsored by the School of Humanities with generous support from the Henry and Jenny Johnson Endowment for Historical Studies.

Below: Prof. Faith Rivers James, chair for The Citadel Leadership Studies program, being interviewed by Fox News about the college’s requirement for cadets to study America’s founding documents when the course began being taught in 2020.