University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Seventh Annual Constitution Day Lecture

Speech now available on YouTube at

Sponsored by the UTC Center for Reflective Citizenship and The College of Health, Education, and Professional Studies

Thursday, September 21st, 2017

7:30 pm

UC Auditorium 

The public is invited and refreshments will be served.

“Humility, Moral Virtue, and the Constitution” 

David Bobb

David Bobb

President of The Bill of Rights Institute

Humility is not the first quality most people associate with the United States of America. Yet for the nation’s founders, humility was an important virtue for anyone entrusted with political power. Hubris had marked the downfall of many regimes in human history. How could the creation of the Constitution, its framers wondered, be different? “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom,” Ben Franklin said. What did that statement mean for America’s early days, and what does it mean for us today? –David Bobb, President of the Bill of Rights Institute

In 2004, the U.S. Congress passed bipartisan legislation authorizing September 17th, 1787, the day the delegates to the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention signed the U.S. Constitution, as an official holiday. In 2005, the U.S. Department of Education authorized that any educational institution receiving federal funds should host educational activities during the week of the Constitution’s birthday. Past UTC Constitution Day lectures have featured nationally and internationally known scholars and teachers Josiah Bunting, James Ceaser, Bradley Birzer, Michael Federici, Wilfred McClay, and Richard Gamble. The general public, the UTC community, and educators and students from a variety of schools and colleges in the region are cordially invited to attend. For other information about the event including reserved seating for groups and individuals please contact Jeffrey Melnik at or call (423) 425-2118. A brief biography of David Bobb is included below.

David Bobb joined the Bill of Rights Institute as President in 2013 and has worked for twenty years at the intersection of civic engagement and education reform. David has taught courses in American politics and public policy in the history and political science departments of both Boston College and Hillsdale College, and was the founding director of a national civic education program for high school teachers and the Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Citizenship and Constitutional Studies in Washington, D.C. David has designed online educational programs used by more than half a million participants and is a nationally-recognized proponent of civic education that engages the hearts and minds of students. The author of Humility: An Unlikely Biography of America’s Greatest Virtue, David has written for The Wall Street Journal and Fast Company among many other publications. He earned his Ph.D. in political science from Boston College, where he received fellowships from the Pew, Earhart, and Bradley Foundations. David and his wife, Anna, have two sons, Walker and Michael.