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Widener University marks the centennial of World War I with free public symposium

Public event

The World War I Centennial Symposium happens Nov. 9.

Widener University will host a daylong public symposium that marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. The “World War I Centennial Symposium” will explore the rationale for the Great War, its impact, legacy, and Widener University’s connections to the conflict.

The event will take place on Friday, Nov. 9 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

The day will begin with a series of lectures held in Kapelski Learning Center room 1 on the campus at 1 University Place, Chester. The lectures include:

  • 9 a.m. “Woodrow Wilson Chooses War” presented by Sahr Conway-Lanz, scholar-in-residence with the Widener University History Department.
  • 9:30 a.m. “Voilà les Américains: The Experience of the Franco-American Alliance in WWI” presented by Richard Hopkins, Widener University assistant professor of history.
  • 10:20 a.m. “The Post-WWI U.S. Occupation of the Rhineland” presented by Molly Bompane of the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center.

The symposium agenda also includes Widener University’s Veterans Day program, on the lawn in front of Old Main at 11:30 a.m., and a talk on the poster art of World War I, given by Jim McNally, art curator at U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center at 1 p.m. in the Webb Room of the University Center building. McNally’s talk will feature more than a dozen posters from the World War I era.

A closing reception is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the Pennsylvania Military College Museum in Alumni Auditorium on campus. The museum has a new exhibit, “World War I: The War to End All Wars.”

The symposium is free and open to the public. It includes continental breakfast and the closing reception. Buffet-style lunch will be available for purchase in the university Pride Cafeteria for $10. Attendees are asked to pre-register online or by calling 610.499.1154. A campus map is online.