Lecture to feature Rhodes Scholar

The annual Constitution Day Lecture will be given this year by former United States Supreme Court Fellow and Rhodes Scholar Ryan Rowberry in the Student Union Theater on Thursday, Sept. 20 at 1 p.m. and is free to the community.
However, it is the connection that Rowberry has to one Southeastern professor that was the driving force behind the scenes, bringing him to give the lecture for Constitution Day.
“We, a number of years ago, decided that the best way for us to do it, rather than mandating that individual classes address it, was to have some sort of public event,” said Dr. William Robison, head of the Department of History and Political Science. “Over the years we have occasionally had our faculty do talks or brought in outside people to do talks. This year Ron Traylor had this angle of getting Ryan Rowberry here.”
Dr. Ronald Traylor is also from the Department of History and Political Science. His son knew Rowberry from when they both worked at the formerly titled Hogan and Hartson lawfirm in Washington D.C. Traylor’s son offered to contact Rowberry to ask if he would be interested in speaking at Southeastern for the Constitution Day Lectures.
“But when I called him, he immediately said, ‘I would just love to come,’ and so he’s coming,” said Traylor.
Finding someone outside of the Southeastern community was important to Traylor, as he sees this as an opportunity to show the community the value of Southeastern.
“In the past, because of funding shortfalls, we have been doing the Constitution Day Lectures for a long time, but we usually, almost exclusively used members of the Southeastern faculty to deliver those lectures, because it was free,” said Traylor. “My idea was to bring in someone like Dr. Rowberry and then appeal to the community for funding.”
And appeal he did. All of Rowberry’s expenses are being funded by donations given to the department by local Hammond businesses and community members. Traylor thanks those who have given donations for the lecture and hopes more will follow in their footsteps.
“The Hammond business community made this possible by their unselfish gifts,” said Traylor. “If this is as popular as I think it’s going to be, I believe that not only will they give next year, but their friends who are unable to or were unaware will too. I think that this can be a first class [lecture] every year into the foreseeable future.”
Rowberry is an assistant professor at Georgia State University College of Law. He graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelor’s degree in English and earned a master’s degree from Oxford University in comparative education policy and a master of studies degree in Medieval British history. His lecture is titled “The History, Structure, and Challenges of the U.S. Legal System.”