Eleventh Annual Dr. Richard Gruetzemacher Constitution Day Lecture
“Lincoln, the Founding, and an America Worth Saving”
Lucas E. Morel
John K. Boardman, Jr. Professor of Politics and Head of the Politics Department at Washington and Lee University
Monday, September 20th, 2021
UC Auditorium and Raccoon Mountain Room
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.
The event will also be streamed live at https://livestream.com/utc/2021constitutionDAY
Sponsored by the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Center for Reflective Citizenship, the College of Health, Education, and Professional Studies, the Scott L. Probasco Distinguished Chair of Free Enterprise, and the Jack Miller Center for Teaching America’s Founding Principles and History.
For other information about the event, including reserved seating for groups and individuals, please contact Jeffrey Melnik, [email protected], 423-425-2118.
The Scott L. Probasco Distinguished Chair of Free Enterprise, held by Claudia R. Williamson, is co-sponsoring the event as part of the Chair's mission to contribute to the public understanding of how the American free enterprise system creates widely shared prosperity. For more information about the Probasco Chair, visit here.
The Jack Miller Center, dedicated to reinvigorating education in America’s founding principles and history, an education vital to thoughtful and engaged citizenship, is also co-sponsoring the lecture. For more information about the Jack Miller Center, visit here.
If there was an abiding political question that Lincoln wrestled with in his public life, it surfaced early in his political career: namely, how to perpetuate self-government. He did not take for granted that the freedom achieved at the founding of the United States would be secure for all future generations. In particular, he did not think doubts about its survival owed chiefly to foreign threats. With prescient insight, Lincoln anticipated that the challenge of perpetuating republican government would come not from abroad but from within. He thought freedom could be lost through its misuse by the citizens themselves and therefore appreciated what the founders had established in terms of principles, practices, and institutions that could help successive generations preserve a self-governing way of life.
—Lucas E. Morel, Lincoln and the American Founding
Lucas E. Morel is the John K. Boardman, Jr. Professor of Politics and Head of the Politics Department at Washington and Lee University. He holds a PhD in Political Science from Claremont Graduate University. Professor Morel also teaches in the Master’s Program in American History and Government at Ashland University in Ohio; lectures in summer programs for the Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy; and conducts high school teacher workshops for the Jack Miller Center, John M. Ashbrook Center, Bill of Rights Institute, Gilder-Lehrman Institute, and Liberty Fund.
In 2020, Professor Morel published Lincoln and the American Founding for Southern Illinois University Press’s Concise Lincoln Library Series. His other books include Lincoln’s Sacred Effort: Defining Religion’s Role in American Self-Government; Lincoln and Liberty: Wisdom for the Ages; Ralph Ellison and the Raft of Hope: A Political Companion to Invisible Man; and The New Territory: Ralph Ellison and the Twenty-First Century.
Professor Morel is a Trustee of the Supreme Court Historical Society; former President of the Abraham Lincoln Institute; Consultant for the Library of Congress Exhibits on Lincoln and the Civil War; was a member of the scholarly board of advisors for the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission; and currently serves on the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission that is planning to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the founding of the United States of America.
In 2004, the U.S. Congress passed bipartisan legislation authorizing September 17th, the date in 1787 that 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 time period of the Constitution’s birthday.
Past UTC Constitution Day lectures have featured nationally and internationally known scholars and teachers. For more information and videos of our recent Constitution Day lectures, please visit here.
In 2018, the lecture series title was changed to honor the life of Dr. Richard Gruetzemacher and his love of history and civic education. For further information about the Richard Gruetzemacher Constitution Day Lecture Series and Fund, please visit here.