Penn State Altoona to host Laureate Week
Penn State Altoona will host a visit from university laureate and history schol-ar Carol Reardon next week.
Reardon will present “Why Study War?” at
7 p.m. Thursday in room 150 Hawthorn Building. Her presentation will delve into the details of how and why military history is remembered and what can be learned from it.
Supplementing Reardon’s lecture and forums with students is an array of campus events throughout the week that highlight different realms of military history.
Reardon is the George Winfree Professor of American History in the College of Liberal Arts at Penn?State, University Park.
She is a military historian who specializes in the study of the American Civil War and the Vietnam conflict to explore how peoples and cultures define, support or oppose, or remember the causes, conduct, costs and con-
sequences of war.
As the first woman to win election to the presidency of the Society for Military History, Reardon strongly promotes an approach to military history that expands from its base in battle and campaign analyses to embrace a more sophisticated discourse about war that integrates all the “elements of national power,” political, diplomatic, economic, social and cultural forces, as well as military, to promote a deeper understanding of the many ways in which armed conflict or opposition to it touches our civic and personal lives.
For the past two decades Reardon has maintained an active outreach effort that applies her expertise in military history to the field of leadership studies.
As an extension of her service as a visiting faculty member at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and at the U.S. Army War College, she has become a highly respected leader and facilitator of “staff rides” for the professional development of both military officers and a wide range of civilian groups.
These “rides,” each usually a daylong highly interactive field seminar, draw heavily on military history to design relevant case studies in teambuilding, decision-making, risk assessment, logistics, personnel planning and develop-
ment, organizational culture and the ethical dimensions of leadership.
She has enjoyed great success tailoring her Gettysburg leadership seminars to the specific interests and learning goals of groups coming from such diverse fields as business, education, law enforcement, agriculture, the biological sciences, journalism, religion, human resources, medicine and mass casualty administration, and, of course, students of history and the liberal arts.
The public is invited to attend a free showing of the film “Flags of Our Fathers,” at 7 p.m. Tuesday in 110 Sheetz Family Health Center.
It will be preceded by an introduction by history instructor Jared Frederick.
Two other events that are free and open to the public in conjunction with Reardon’s visit are:
Penn State Altoona Living History Encampment – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, outside Hawthorn Building
The Penn State Altoona History Department and History Society will host its annual history encampment. A Living History timeline will display re-
enactors, equipment and artifacts from numerous time periods, including the American Civil War and World War II. Re-enactors will be conducting informal programs for students.
World War II Letters Display – All week in the Robert E. Eiche Library.
Penn State Altoona was founded as the Altoona Undergraduate Center in 1939 to serve as an extension of the main university system in nearby State College. While the campus grew, it was threatened by near extinction due to the mass exodus of many of its male students into military service during WWII.
The campus director at the time, Robert Eiche, actively wrote to his students who were in the service. Accordingly, many of them wrote back. Penn State Altoona has many of these letters in its library collection. A selection of this correspondence will be on display in the library during Laureate Week.