Wednesday, December 7, 2005

Distinguished Statesman, Senator Birch Bayh, Joins Washington College's C.V. Starr Center

Chestertown, MD, December 7, 2005 — Washington College is pleased to announce that Senator Birch Bayh, one of the most respected elder statesmen in American politics, will join the Washington College community as a Fellow of the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience during the Spring 2006 semester.

As U.S. Senator from Indiana between 1963 and 1981, Sen. Bayh won national renown as a champion of civil rights and education, helping to draft the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act and 1965 Voting Rights Act. He authored two successful amendments to the U.S. Constitution—the 25th and the 26th—as well as the Equal Rights Amendment, which was not ratified. No other lawmaker since the Founders has authored two constitutional amendments. Sen. Bayh was the architect of Title IX, which ensured equal opportunity for female college students, faculty, and student athletes.

"Not only is Sen. Bayh a legendary figure in American public life, he's also someone whom all American colleges and universities may rightly call a hero—both as the architect of Title IX and as the author of the 26th Amendment, which gave college-age citizens the right to vote," said Adam Goodheart, acting director of the C.V. Starr Center. "We're very honored that he has chosen to join us at the Center and Washington College."

Sen. Bayh will teach a Senatorial Colloquy on American History and Politics for interested Washington College students. During the non-credited, extracurricular seminar, the Senator will lead discussions on such topics as women's rights, civil rights, the Supreme Court, and electoral politics as well as share firsthand stories from a career in which he worked closely with everyone from John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. to Bill Clinton. Applications will be required from students who wish to enroll in the Colloquy.

Additionally, Sen. Bayh will give a free public lecture, "Church and State: 18th-Century Principles, 21st-Century Politics," on January 30 at 4:30 p.m. in the College's Tawes Theatre, Gibson Performing Arts Center.

"Sen. Bayh, along with Mrs. Bayh, visited campus informally earlier this fall and spent hours chatting with students about current events and his past experiences in politics," Goodheart said. "It was clear that he has a special rapport with young people, and that he is an exceptional mentor and teacher."

Sen. Bayh's fellowship is sponsored by the College's C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience. Drawing on the special historical strengths of Washington College and Chestertown, the C.V. Starr Center is dedicated to exploring the early republic, the rise of democracy, and the manifold ways in which the founding era continues to shape American culture.

News about upcoming events sponsored by the Center is available online at

Washington College is a private, independent college of liberal arts and sciences located in historic Chestertown on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Founded in 1782 under the patronage of George Washington, it was the first college chartered in the new nation.

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