Brame to discuss ‘Democracy at the Crossroads’ at Adrian College Constitution Day Address

ADRIAN — Adrian College is inviting the public to its annual Phillip J. Prygoski Constitution Day Address, beginning at noon on Friday, Sept. 17, in Knight Auditorium in Valade Hall.

This year’s speaker is Tracey Brame, an associate dean and professor of law at Western Michigan University Cooley Law School. Her address is titled “Democracy at the Crossroads.”

Adrian College’s Director of the George W. Romney Institute for Law and Public Policy, Professor Nathan Goetting, said after Brame graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in 1995, she became a champion for those who otherwise would have had no voice in the U.S. justice system.

“It is our honor to have Brame as our guest speaker this year,” Goetting said.

Brame is the Director of the WMU-Cooley Innocence Project, which uses the latest DNA technology to exonerate and release wrongfully convicted inmates after years of unjust incarceration.

“As an African-American woman, I chose law as a profession because I believe it to be, at its best, a great equalizer that nudges us toward our better selves,” Brame said. “It has always been my mission to be a resource as well as a mentor to my community, and help to hold our country to its highest ideals.”

Over the past several semesters, Brame has welcomed Adrian College criminal justice students into the Innocence Project as interns and provided them with unique and valuable training to help open doors for them as future criminal justice professionals.

Passionate about education at all levels, Brame devotes a large portion of her time discussing the law with the young minds of middle-school, high-school and college-aged students. She works with the 3R’s Program, where lawyers volunteer each month at UPrep High School, teaching ninth graders about the Constitution. She also helps prepare the students for an end-of-year mock debate hosted at the Grand Rapids WMU-Cooley campus.

Prygoski was an administrative law judge for the State of Michigan Board of Licensing and Regulation and constitutional law professor for 35 years. He provided invaluable support to Adrian College’s Romney Institute during the critical stages of its infancy. Prygoski  was the institute’s first speaker and fellow on Constitution Day in 2010. He passed away in 2019.

In recognition of his outstanding service to teaching, every year on Constitution Day, since 2012, Adrian College’s Romney Institute for Law and Public Policy hosts a renowned speaker to deliver the Annual Philip J. Prygoski Constitution Day Address, whose topic will be a contemporary issue of constitutional concern.

For more information about the event, hosted by the George W. Romney Institute for Law and Public Policy, contact Goetting at ngoetting@adrian.edu.