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Hardy to Give Hallwas Lecture; Sept. 15 in Macomb, Sept. 16 in Moline

September 8, 2008

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MACOMB, IL - - Western Illinois University Political Science Chairperson Rick Hardy will deliver the Sixth Annual John Hallwas Liberal Arts Lecture, "The Constitution: Its Fate Depends on Civic Leaders," Monday, Sept. 15 in Macomb and Tuesday, Sept. 16 in Moline.

The WIU-Macomb lecture will be at 7 p.m. Sept. 15 in the University Union Grand Ballroom. The WIU-Quad Cities presentation will be at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 16 in room 102.

A constitutional law expert, Hardy will speak to a main question: Can this great document last?

"The Constitution of the United States is the oldest, written nation-state constitution in force today. The Founders of this great document were firmly grounded in the liberal arts. They were well versed in classical republicanism, natural rights philosophy and Judeo-Christian teachings," Hardy said. "Their practical experiences, coupled with political necessity and the willingness to forge compromise, redounded in the creation of a workable, durable framework upon which our republic is built. The Constitution, while far from perfect, has proven remarkably resilient, weathering seemingly countless political and economic crises. But can this great document last?

Hardy will talk about the rapid social, cultural, economic, environmental and technological changes occurring in the U.S.; as well as this age of instant communication, nuclear weaponry, global terrorism, and an insatiable world demand for energy.

"Our greatest challenges may lie ahead. Whether this unique Constitution and the government it has spawned can survive these challenges, will depend in large measure upon civic leaders—people of vision and principles, educated in the liberal arts, skilled in politics, who understand the necessity of allocating scarce resources and balancing competing interests," said Hardy.

"Rick Hardy is a wonderful, entertaining speaker, with a deeply informed perspective on the Constitution, and the challenges to our democracy, is this conflict-ridden political era," said Hallwas, who presented the inaugural Liberal Arts Lecture in September 2003.

"It is through the dedication, time and effort of John and Garnette Hallwas that we are able to present this signature event for the College of Arts and Sciences. Their commitment to the liberal arts and sciences and our students is unending. On behalf of the College, I offer them my undying thanks for all they do for us throughout the year," said Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Inessa Levi.

"I would also like to extend my thanks to Dr Hardy for his work on the lecture this year. It is fitting that he, as a WIU alumnus, gives the lecture as the College celebrates its 50th anniversary," Levi added.

Past lecturers in the series have included Dr. John Hallwas (2003), Dr. Charles Helm (2004), Dr. Karen Mann (2005), Dr. Tracy Knight (2006) and WIU President Al Goldfarb (2007).

Content by Jeff Dodd, College of Arts and Sciences

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