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The U.S. Constitution Day event held on Monday, September 17, 2012

9/25/2012 3:22:11 p.m. - Hobbs, NM. The U.S. Constitution Day event held at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, September 17, 2012  in the Jack Daniels’ Room of the Ben Alexander Student Union on the NMJC campus.

                (Brief History)  At the end of the 2004 Legislative session of the U.S. Congress, there were a number of bills left to complete.  Senator of West Virginia Robert Byrd fought for a U.S. Constitution mandate.  If schools (public) receive federal funds such as PELL Grants, then the schools must acknowledge the importance of the U.S. Constitution or risk losing their federal assistance funding.  A date each year is set aside as close to the original date of the U.S. Constitution being official.  This year, it fell exactly 225 years from the date of the U.S. Constitution being the official document for our country on September 17, 1787.  NMJC has placed Constitution Day on its official calendar each year since its inception.

              Through the years, various speakers (both Democrat and Republican) have been invited as the speakers.  We have been honored with music/vocal and instrumental from our own NMJC students, as well.  Sometimes the entertainment has been within other genres, such as Mrs. New Mexico and theatre students.  We also have representatives of both the College Campus Democrats and College Campus Republicans available with rosters set up for the NMJC students to join their clubs.  This year we added an Independent party, too.  Each year, since the start of Constitution Day, my ITV and traditional students in American Government classes, compete in a paper project, which takes in the entire Lea County area.  The winners of the papers from each site, plus two classes on the NMJC campus, are honored at the event by numerous prizes from support through a grant based with the NMJC Foundation and Student Life. 

              This year, our speaker was NM Representative Shirley Tyler.  She spoke on the background history of the U.S. Constitution and the importance of the documents’ Preamble, Seven Articles, and the 27 Amendments.  The music was under the direction of Dr. Wong.  His choir, with support from music students’ with flute, piano, and drums, sang a number of patriotic tunes.  Dr. Dennis Atherton, Vice-President of Instruction, was the master-of-ceremonies.  He led the audience with “The Pledge of Allegiance” and introduced the speaker.  The following NMJC students won awards for their papers:  Kaitlyn Crow from LHS 1, Maria Alvarex from LHS 2, Devin Miles from JHS, Augustus J. Robinson from EHS, Devanne Sours from THS, and Sean Pyeatt, Kristi Melot, and Taylor Arnold from NMJC—Hobbs.  (Each received a $25.00 gift certificate to be used in the NMJC Bookstore made possible through the NMJC Foundation and additional support from Student Life.)  A reception followed in the foyer with cookies and punch.

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