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Merchant to Present Constitution Day Lecture at W&L

J. Holt Merchant, professor of history emeritus at Washington and Lee University, will present the 2013 Constitution Day Lecture at the University on Tuesday, Sept. 17, at 4 p.m., in Northen Auditorium of Leyburn Library.

Merchant’s lecture is titled “George Washington and the Constitution.” It is open to the public at no charge.

Merchant retired from the faculty in June following 43 years at W&L but continues to teach part time.

A 1961 graduate of W&L, where he majored in history, Merchant received his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. He joined the W&L faculty after serving in the U.S. Army from 1961 to 1967. During his tenure at the University, he taught more than 25 different courses, served as chair of the History Department from 1998 to 2007, and was University marshal and chair of the Committee on Public Functions for 10 years.

Merchant is the author of “Laurence M. Keitt: South Carolina Fire-eater,” University of South Carolina Press (forthcoming 2014) and co-editor of “Finishing with a Flourish” (2008). He has been a reviewer of books for newspapers and professional journals as well as a referee of articles for professional journals and has been a participant and advisor on films about Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.

Constitution Day commemorates the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution and is observed on Sept. 17, the day the U.S. Constitutional Convention signed the Constitution in 1787. The federal observance also recognizes those who have become U.S. citizens.