President's Lecture Series

The President’s Lecture Series at Assumption College is a public forum in which important ethical, spiritual and human issues are illuminated and examined within the Catholic intellectual tradition.

The heart of a classical liberal arts education is an ongoing conversation across disciplines. By ensuring that the sharpest minds, representing diverse viewpoints and areas of study, are a part of this dialogue Assumption reaffirms –and bolsters– its commitment to providing students with an education that goes beyond the mere memorization of facts and acquisition of skills and empowers them to continue the discussion.

All lectures in the series are open to the Assumption College community and the general public at no charge.

Next Speaker:

Richard W. Garnett, J.D.
Paul J. Schierl/Fort Howard Corporation Professor Concurrent Professor of Political Science, University of Notre Dame

The Past, Present, and Future of Religious Freedom in America?

Monday, November 15, 2016, 7 p.m. Salon, La Maison Française


Lecture Summary
Professor Garnett will thoroughly examine the meaning and limits of religious freedom, often called America’s “First Freedom,” and how they are becoming increasingly controversial and unclear. As America’s communities are becoming more diverse and as the sphere of government action and regulation grows, the challenge of respecting and protecting religious freedom for all is becoming more difficult. He will also examine freedoms of speech, association, religion, and constitutional law’s relationship to one another.

About Professor Garnett
Professor Garnett is the Paul J. Schierl/Fort Howard Professor of Law and Concurrent Professor of Political Science for the University of Notre Dame School of Law.  Professor Garnett teaches and writes about constitutional law as well as freedoms of speech, association and religion. A former clerk for the late Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States William H. Rehnquist, he is a leading authority on questions regarding the role of religious beliefs in politics and society. He has published widely on these matters--he is the author of dozens of law-review articles and book chapters—and is regularly invited to share analysis and commentary in national print and broadcast media. His current research project, Two There Are: Understanding the Separation of Church and State, will be published by Cambridge University Press. 

Professor Garnett is closely involved with a number of efforts to improve and strengthen Catholic schools and to reform education policy more generally. He is the founding director of Notre Dame Law School’s Program on Church, State and Society, an interdisciplinary project that focuses on the role of religious institutions, communities, and authorities in the social order. He has served on the Notre Dame Task Force on Catholic Education and is a fellow of the University’s Institute for Educational Initiatives as well as a founding associate of the American Center for School Choice.  He also serves on the school board of St. Joseph Grade School in South Bend, IN.


RSVPs are encouraged due to limited space. Please call 508-767-7322 or email