45th Annual Donald A. Giannella Memorial Lecture, 11/03

 “God and Football: History and Kennedy v. Bremerton School District


The Eleanor H. McCullen Center for Law, Religion and Public Policy welcomes

Sarah Barringer Gordon
Arlin M. Adams Professor of Constitutional Law and Professor of History
University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School


Thursday, November 3
4:00 p.m.

Arthur M. Goldberg ’66 Classroom (Room 202)
John F. Scarpa Hall
Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law

The Eleanor H. McCullen Center for Law, Religion and Public Policy welcomes Sarah Barringer Gordon,  Arlin M. Adams Professor of Constitutional Law and professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School to present this year’s annual Donald A. Giannella Memorial Lecture. Gordon will discuss a recent case where the Supreme Court of the United States upheld the right of a public high school football coach to pray at midfield after games.

Gordon is best known for her work on religion in American public life and the law of church and state, especially for the ways that religious liberty developed over the course of American national history. She is a frequent commentator in news media on the constitutional law of religion and debates about religious freedom. Her op-eds have appeared in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and other news outlets. She has appeared on NPR, the Daily Show, as well as podcasts and lecture podiums around the country.

Gordon has been a Guggenheim Fellow, the Maguire Chair in Ethics and American History at the Library of Congress and a member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, among other awards. Gordon was president of the American Society for Legal History, 2017-19, and served as co-editor of Studies in Legal History, the book series of the Society from 2011-2022. She serves on the boards of the William Nelson Cromwell Foundation and the Omohundro Institute, as well as the California Supreme Court Historical Society. She has received the University of Pennsylvania’s Lindback Award for distinguished teaching and Penn Carey Law’s Robert A. Gorman Award for Teaching Excellence. She is also a distinguished lecturer for the Organization of American Historians.

This lecture is approved by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board for 1 Substantive In-Person CLE credit.


About the Donald A. Giannella Memorial Lecture

Through the generosity of Professor Giannella’s family, colleagues, Villanova Law alumni and other friends, an endowed fund was established to honor the distinguished scholar and beloved educator who died in 1974. The lectureship brings a leading scholar to Villanova each year. The paper presented at the lecture is published in the Villanova Law Review.