The University of Dallas will continue its 38-year tradition of celebrating the Constitution this Sunday, Sept. 16 at 6 p.m., with a barbecue dinner and dessert, a talk given by Dr. Leo Paul de Alvarez and patriotic singing in the Upstairs Haggar Dining Room.
An amendment to the omnibus spending bill passed by Senator Robert Byrd in 2004 required that Constitution (or Citizenship) Day be celebrated at all publicly funded educational facilities in recognition of all native-born and naturalized citizens. In May 2005, the Department of Education officially announced the passage of the amendment, making celebration of Constitution Day mandatory for many colleges and universities across the country.
UD’s own tradition came from a student’s complaint that Americans do not take adequate opportunity to sing and appreciate patriotic hymns. Dr. de Alvarez took that into consideration, organizing the first Constitution Day celebration on campus in 1974.
“We decided to make an occasion which could be a part of our education in the American political tradition,” said Dr. de Alvarez at one such celebration. “The songs will recapitulate American history, and I think you will have a sense of the passions that moved us at various stages of our history.”