The Montpelier Foundation established the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution in 2002. The original “Center for Constitutional Studies” was meant to be a national academy to provide seminars for educators on topics related to the U.S. Constitution. Robert H. Smith shared our belief that helping educators become better teachers helps students become more knowledgeable about the Constitution, and that both are key to the future of America.
In addition to educators, the Center now works with professionals who have a responsibility to implement and protect the Constitution. We have developed a partnership with the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services to offer programs for law enforcement officers whom we entrust to uphold the values and ideals of America’s governing documents through their actions.
We also host a variety of international professionals, including journalists, non-profit leaders, elected and appointed officials, and human rights lawyers in an effort to promote the rule of law and good governance abroad. Since its inception, the Center for the Constitution has trained more than 60,000 people from over 110 countries.
Importantly, the Center is not a place where original or new research and interpretation of the US Constitution is created. Rather, we see it as our mission to explore the historical context of the Constitution and examine modern Constitutional issues in a non-partisan way.
We know that the Constitution profoundly affects our day-to-day lives, but trying to decipher and apply it can be an intimidating task. That’s why the Center exists. We strive to help people gain a better understanding of the document that still serves as the foundation of our nation. We give people the tools to more fully appreciate and understand the Constitution and encourage informed debate, deeper involvement in democracy, and continuous improvement to our nation.
For more information, contact us.