September 17, 2012, marks the 225th anniversary of the signing of the United States Constitution by the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. To celebrate this national holiday, a group of Yale alumni and staff gathered to read the Preamble to the Constitution at the grave of the Roger Sherman, one of the most active delegates in the Constitutional Convention.
Sherman served as treasurer of Yale from 1765 to 1776, and was awarded an honorary degree in 1786. One of America’s founding fathers, he holds distinction of being the only person to have signed all four of the nation’s great founding state papers: the Articles of Association, the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution. The longtime mayor of New Haven, Sherman also served as an early U.S. senator from Connecticut. He lies buried in the historic Grove Street Cemetery next to campus.
At Yale, the Constitution is celebrated, discussed, and studied throughout the year, whether in classes in Yale College and the Yale Law School, debates of the Yale Political Union, master’s teas, or other events. Yale makes scholarship on the Constitution available to the public for free, online, through the Open Yale Courses lectures of Professor Joanne Freeman, “Hist 116: The American Revolution,” with lectures on “The Road to the Constitutional Convention,” “Creating a Constitution,” and “Creating a Nation.”
Many Yale faculty contribute to broader knowledge about the Constitution through scholarly articles, appearances at conferences and in the media, and by books for both scholarly and general audiences. One of the most recent books published by a Yale scholar is “America’s Unwritten Constitution” by Akhil Reed Amar, Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science, who is also the author of “America’s Constitution: A Biography” (2006) and other popular books on the subject.
We encourage all of our readers to watch the video and take the time today to reflect and celebrate the vital heritage of our nation and its Constitution.