LBWCC to host Constitution Day symposium

Published 1:21 pm Thursday, August 29, 2019

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Lurleen B. Wallace Community College celebrates the 232nd anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution with a free, public symposium on Sept. 17, 2019, beginning at 10 a.m., in the Martha and Solon Dixon Center for the Performing Arts in Andalusia.

“We are honored to host this type of symposium for LBWCC students, area high school students, and the public,” said Maria Thigpen, chair of LBWCC’s business, information technology, and social science division.

A panel of experts will explore the historical and modern importance of the Constitution to American society, with an emphasis on some of the challenges the country faces today.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to hear the perspectives of several prominent legal minds and get a better understanding of the constitution’s impact in today’s society,” she said. “We are especially grateful to Covington County Circuit Judge Ben Bowden for the key role he played in organizing such an important event.”

Alabama Supreme Court Associate Justice Brady E. (Brad) Medheim Jr. will serve as the moderator, with panelists to include Dr. Steven Brown, political science professor at Auburn University; Dr. Robert Carlson, history lecturer at Troy University; and Dr. Lawrence Cappello, assistant professor of history at the University of Alabama.

Mendheim was appointed to the Alabama Supreme Court in January 2018 by Gov. Kay Ivey. He previously served as circuit judge in Henry and Houston counties since 2009. In addition, he served as Houston County district judge and was appointed to preside over more than 250 cases in more than 40 Alabama counties by various chief justices.

Brown started teaching at Auburn University in 1998, including several courses in American constitutional law as well as religion and politics, law and society, and introduction to American government. He is a published author, with his works recognized by the National Communication Association, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and the Supreme Court Historical Society. He also created a traveling exhibit about landmark Supreme Court cases from Alabama titled “Alabama Justice: The Cases and Faces that Changed a Nation.”

Carlson’s area of expertise include the 19th–Century South, American Civil War, and the American Constitution. He is co-author of a book regarding class and dissent in confederate Georgia, and has written several articles on confederate conscription policy, citizenship, and Georgia during the Civil War. He has taught such courses as American history, constitutional development, research and methodology, foundations of graduate studies in history, and American historiography.

Cappello’s interests include U.S. legal and constitutional history, history of privacy, and national social and political history of the 20th century. He is the author of a book about privacy from the gilded age to the digital age, and has had essays published in The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, The Nation, and The Hill. He is currently working on a manuscript on how to talk about privacy. He teaches such courses as great cases in U.S. legal history, right to privacy, U.S. constitutional history, the new deal and the great society, and American civilization since 1865.

“We invite anyone interested in the U.S. Constitution to attend this free, public event,” said Thigpen.

For more information, call Thigpen at 334-881-2314 or email