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C.V. Starr Center for the


Study of the American Experience

Former Senator Birch Bayh, one of the most respected elder statesmen in American politics, returned to Washington College in Spring 2011 to teach a special extracurricular colloquy on American history and politics for Washington College students.

Sen. Bayh with President Lyndon JohnsonSen. Bayh with President Lyndon JohnsonAs U.S. Senator from Indiana between 1963 and 1981, Senator Bayh won fame as a champion of civil rights and education, helping to draft the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act and 1965 Voting Rights Act. He authored two successful amendments to the U.S. Constitution (including the 26th Amendment, which lowered the voting age from 21 to 18), as well as the Equal Rights Amendment, which was not ratified. No other lawmaker since the nation’s founding has authored two constitutional amendments. Senator Bayh was the architect of Title IX, which ensured equal opportunity for female college students, faculty, and student athletes. He ran twice for the presidency, in 1972 and 1976, and his son Evan occupied his father’s old seat in the Senate (1999-2011).

Senatorial Colloquy, 2009Senatorial Colloquy, 2009The Senatorial Colloquy on American History and Politics - a noncredited, extracurricular seminar met on March 22, April 5, and April 26, from 4:00 to 6:30 p.m. The Senator led discussions on such topics as women’s rights, civil rights, the Supreme Court, and electoral politics - and share firsthand stories from a career in which he has worked closely with everyone from John F. Kennedy to Barack Obama. Each session included an informal dinner with Senator Bayh.

The Senatorial Colloquy was previously offered in 2005, 2007, 2006 and 2009.