Students, faculty and guests attending California Baptist University’s celebration of the US Constitution were told to “open [their] minds and drink in deeply,” President Ronald Ellis.
“Dr. Douglas Kmiec has a lot of experience and I think he brings a perspective to all of us that we should welcome to hear,” Ellis said.
Kmiec, who is the Constitutional Law professor at Pepperdine University Law School brought years of experience in the political and legal spectrum with him to the podium as he gave an overview of what the Constitution means to US citizens.
He was also a former constitutional legal council to US President Reagan and served under the Obama administration as the Ambassador to Malta.
Various members of the CBU community attended the event, held in the Copenbarger Presidential Dining Room, to listen to Kmeic invoke two main points about the Constitution: that it is a critically thought-out reflection of who we are as humans and that the constitution is a means to an end.
“Identified so well and so clearly in the Declaration of Independence, one chief justice said, ‘the declaration is the promise, the Constitution is the fulfillment,” Kmiec said.
Kmiec cited, while grasping the pocket Constitution that he carries in his jacket, what founding father James Madison wrote in the Federalist Papers, “that the Constitution…is a sublime reflection upon human nature.”
To Kmiec, the Constitution represents a picture of US citizens and their past and future achievements.
“Our past achievements in philosophy and science and our aspirations of those achievements yet to come,” Kmiec said.
The event was sponsored by CBU’s Pre-Law Society, which presented Kmiec with a U.S. Flag that used to fly above the Capitol Building in Washington D.C.
A senior student and member of the Pre-Law Society, Joel Martinez, got the flag from his internship at US Congressman Jerry Lewis’ district office.
Destiny Ciecalone, CBU student and member of the Associated Students of California Baptist University (ASCBU) appreciated the way that Kmiec stressed the significance of the Constitution.
“I liked the importance of the Constitution that was stressed and the tremendous amount of importance he placed on the actual formulation of the document,” Ciecalone said.
CBU held events during the week of Constitution Day for several years, which has become a tradition available to students and the CBU community.