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Constitution Day celebration features James Madison

Posted on September 17, 2007

Grand Valley State University’s Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies commemorates the birth of the U.S. Constitution. In a two-day celebration, the center will honor the legacy of the framers of the Constitution and teach about the responsibilities and opportunities of citizenship.

On Wednesday, September 19, the “Father of the Constitution” himself — James Madison — will take part in the festivities. John Douglas Hall, a historian and character interpreter from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, will portray Madison in a presentation at 5 p.m. in Grand Valley’s Loosemore Auditorium on the Pew Grand Rapids Campus. He has taken his act all over the country over the last 25 years.

On Thursday, September 20, at 4 p.m., historian George Nash will visit Grand Valley’s Loosemore Auditorium to talk about America’s founding fathers and the books that influenced their work.

“John Douglas Hall is our nation’s best interpreter of James Madison, and he makes history come alive to audiences around the country,” said Gleaves Whitney, director of the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies. “The Constitution is more than ideas in ink. There’s a dramatic story behind the document, and Hall can tell that story.

“Also, I’m excited to hear a scholar the caliber of George Nash speak to us about the ideas and books that influenced the founders. Because we live with their ideas to this day, it is important to understand how they approached politics,” Whitney noted.

For more information, contact the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies at (616) 331-2770, or visit

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