Constitution Day comes alive at Saint Joseph's campus on Monday

September 11, 2009 Contact: Charmaine Daniels at (207) 893-7723 or e-mail

Ever wonder about how professor Patsy Thompson Leavitt was able to start a free health clinic that served 1,000 uninsured people in the last five years or how professor Steve Aylward fostered a team that would organize a new trail system for Portland Trails? Come hear faculty and staff members discuss personal experiences and research findings about how communities form the foundations of democracy at the annual Constitution Day Symposium. The symposium, held on Monday, Sept. 14, from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., in the Alfond Hall auditorium, reflects the college's effort to honor the value of community this year.

Speakers also include faculty and staff members talking about "civic society," a concept popularized by Robert Putnam in his 2001 book, Bowling Alone. He and other scholars found the health of a democracy depends on how well its component parts bond together as communities - and found that community organizations help to teach citizens skills of persuasion, negotiation and leadership needed in the public sector. 893-7723.