In order to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the tragic events of September 11, 2001, I’ve invited a series of guests to contribute blog posts about ways in which their campuses or organizations are working to create teachable moments with which to engage students in conversations about the effects of 9/11 on our democracy and ways we can work collectively as informed, engaged citizens to affect positive change in our society.
In today’s blog post, Rick Griffin of Ferris State University in Michigan, shares with us Ferris State’s plans to commemorate the tragedies of September 11, 2001 throughout the entire 2011-2012 academic year.
– Jen Domagal-Goldman, National Manager, American Democracy Project
By Guest Blogger, Dr. Richard (Rick) W. Griffin, Campus Coordinator of ADP/PEP at Ferris State University
This year marks the tenth anniversary of that terrible day in September 2001 when, as Country and Western singer Alan Jackson puts it, “The World Stood Still.” In commemoration of this national and international tragedy, Ferris State University (MI) has selected “9/11 – Ten Years Later: What Have We Learned?” as the theme for the entire 2011-2012 academic year for FSU’s American Democracy and Political Engagement Project (ADP/PEP) campus events and activities.
The initial ADP/PEP 9/11 commemoration event will be a full day of activities on September 20th when former U. S. Congressman Peter Hoekstra visits our campus. Congressman Hoekstra represented the Second Congressional District of Michigan (Holland, MI) from 1993 until 2011. During his tenure in the U. S. House of Representatives, Congressman Hoekstra served as Chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, which is charged with oversight of the United States Intelligence Community as the nation defends itself against all threats. This alone qualifies the Congressman as a leading expert on issues dealing with 9/11. While on the Ferris State University campus, Mr. Hoekstra will participate in a full schedule, as he engages with students, faculty, and staff. His activities will include meeting with faculty and staff members, visiting with students in the classroom, and a public (local community invited) presentation focusing upon the lessons learned by the nation since 9/11.
The second major ADP/PEP event commemorating 9/11 will transpire in late October and early November, when the University conducts its annual “All-Campus Public Speaking Contest.” This event engages hundreds of students on a campus-wide basis as participants in an oratory competitive experience focusing upon a common general theme. Since the Contest is a major ADP/PEP event at Ferris State, its theme for this academic year will also be “9/11 – Ten Years later: What Have We Learned?”
In celebration of Veterans Day on November 11th, the Ferris State ADP/PEP initiative will conduct a campus-wide event celebrating the immeasurable sacrifices our veterans have made for our democracy and society. In the past, ADP/PEP has conducted panel discussions with students, faculty and staff who are veterans.
To view Ferris State’s 9/11 Commemoration Schedule of Events, go to this website.
To read more about Ferris State’s ADP and PEP activities, visit this website.