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Gilbert to be guest speaker Thursday at Robert C. Byrd Forum on Civic Responsibility

Marshall University President Jerome A. Gilbert will be the guest lecturer for the university’s annual Robert C. Byrd Forum on Civic Responsibility this Thursday, Sept. 14, at 2:30 p.m. at the Joan C. Edwards Playhouse on Marshall’s Huntington campus.


The lecture is free and open to the public. A reception will follow in the lobby of the playhouse.

“I’m truly honored to have been invited to be the guest speaker for this year’s forum,” said Gilbert. “The topic of civic engagement and its importance in our society is particularly relevant in today’s world, where there is a growing distrust of our country’s institutions in general.

“I’ll be talking some about the Constitution and what a brilliant document it is, even after nearly 250 years. I’ll tie in the right to free speech and the need for civility in our society, focusing on what I call the ‘gold standard’ of civic responsibility.

“I believe civility is a higher calling than shouting or fist shaking or threatening, which we see way too often now. Civic engagement and civil discourse are consistent with an educated and enlightened citizenry, and are obligations of higher education.”

The forum is part of Marshall’s Constitution Week celebration, which kicks off today. The yearly observance commemorates the adoption of the U.S. Constitution and memorializes U.S. Chief Justice John Marshall, who is credited with helping define the Constitution and for whom the university is named.

The John Deaver Drinko Academy sponsors the Constitution Week activities, which also include the popular Quoits Tournament. Quoits, a ring-toss game similar to horseshoes, was John Marshall’s favorite sport.

Here is a complete schedule of this year’s Constitution Week events: