Culver Academies is marking the centennial of the end of World War I in 1918 with a host of events, programs, and exhibits which focus on the contributions of the school’s alumni body to the war effort, and the war’s impact upon the Culver campus as well as the internationally known figures who visited in the years following the Great War.
Events throughout the fall culminate in the school’s annual Nov. 11 Veterans Day ceremony, which was developed in 1924 at the dedication of the Academies’ Legion Memorial Building – itself a memorial to the 85 Culver Military Academy graduates who died in the war, and which has been observed as an annual tradition ever since.
This year, representatives of the Allied nations who attended the 1924 dedication will be on hand alongside other dignitaries and representatives of various veterans’ organizations. The keynote speaker will be Col. Al Shine, former CMA Commandant of Cadets from 1990 to 2000.
The ceremony will begin at 10:30 a.m. outside the Legion Memorial Building on the Academies campus on Sunday, Nov. 11. The public is invited to attend this historic event.
Other events on the Culver campus, to which the public is cordially invited, include:
- “Causes of the War,” a live Skype with Michael Neiberg, Ph.D., Chair in War Studies, Army War College; Monday, Sept. 10, 7 p.m., Eppley Auditorium.
- “The Experience of War;” Andrew Carroll, New York Times best-selling author and founder of the War Letters Project, Chapman University; Tuesday, Oct. 1, 7 p.m., Legion Memorial Building.
- “Hello Girls: America’s First Women Soldiers,” a documentary film on women, war, and rights, screening and live Skype session with director Jim Theres; Tuesday, Oct. 9, 7 p.m., Roberts Auditorium.
- “Culver and the War,” a historical presentation by Col. Kelly Jordan, Ph.D., former CMA Commandant of Cadets from 2008 to 2013; Tuesday, Oct. 30, 7 p.m., Legion Memorial Building.
- Opening of the art exhibition, “Hear now the Roll Call, Gold Star Men of Culver – World War I” (publicly presenting, for the first time since 1954, more than 60 recently-restored portraits of Culver alumni killed in the war, commissioned following the end of WWI). Saturday, Nov. 10, Crisp Visual Arts Galleries.
- “Beyond Glory – True Stories of Medal of Honor Recipients” starring Avatar actor Stephen Lang (part of the Huffington Concert Series). There is an admission charge for this event on Tuesday, Nov. 13, at 8 p.m., Eppley Auditorium.
- A World War I film series, screened in Eppley Auditorium, is also slated for 7 p.m. for each film. The series includes: “Gallipoli,” Saturday, Sept. 29. “Paths of Glory,” Saturday, Oct. 13. “War Horse,” Saturday, Oct. 27.
All events, with the exception of “Beyond Glory,” are free and open to the public.
Culver Military Academy contributed nearly 3,500 alumni to World War I, and many served with great distinction. The school’s leadership during the period just prior to the war was instrumental in helping generate such programs as the ROTC, and Culver gained an international name as a result of its contributions.
Following the war, dignitaries like General of the Armies John Pershing, Maj. Gen. Leonard Wood, and Gen. John A. Lejune, among many others, visited the campus. The war also helped shape the physical campus even to today, by way of landmark structures and locations like Pershing Walk, the Legion Memorial Building, and Argonne and Chateau-Theirry Barracks (today dorms).
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