red graphic with white letters staring in order to form a more perfect union
Photo credit: Courtesy of Office of Communications

Constitution and Citizenship Day Oberlin

Oberlin College marks Constitution and Citizenship Day each September 17 to recognize the nation’s founding and to encourage reflection and civic awareness and participation.


We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

What Section of the Constitution Speaks to You?

September 17 is recognized as Constitution and Citizenship Day. In addition to experiencing a global pandemic, 2020 marks the centennial year of the passage of the 19th Amendment, the upcoming presidential election, and the ongoing demonstrations for social justice across the country.

We invited the Oberlin community to reflect on the ways that the United States Constitution empowers individuals to help ‘‘form a more perfect union’’ by recording a brief video considering an amendment or a section of the constitution that’s most meaningful. 

... A More Perfect Union

Barbara Thomas on being a United States Citizen

Julie Weir on Amendments 15, 19 and 26

Ann Sherif on Article V

The Office of the President and Oberlin College Libraries are this year’s sponsors of Constitution and Citizenship Day.

Learning the Constitution

Oberlin Colleges Libraries has compiled a range of interactive materials that encourage you to explore and examine the U.S. Constitution.

Bronze statues of men who signed the constitution.

Oberlin has recognized Constitution and Citizenship Day for the last several years featuring noted legal professionals who specialize in constitutional issues. Donica Thomas Varner, vice president, general counsel, and secretary, puts the day in perspective: why should we celebrate it—in an interview with fourth-year history major Zareen Kang. We also revisit a conversation with Varner and Ohio Supreme Court Justice Pat DeWine during his visit to campus.

woman in white blouse and pearl earrings.
Donica Thoms Varner, Oberlin’s vice president, secretary, and general counsel.
Photo credit: Jennifer Manna