Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar to Discuss WW II Veterans.
Thomas Childers, University of Pennsylvania Sheldon and Lucy Hackney Professor of History, examines the problems of combat veterans returning to the United States after years of combat during his free public lecture March 17 at 8 p.m. in the Alma College Swanson Academic Center, Room 113.
His talk, titled "The Greatest Generation Comes Home: The Untold Story of America's Returning Veterans, 1945-1950" is an examination of trials and probems of combat veterans returning to the United States after years of combat. In all the well-deserved adulation surrounding the men and women of the World War II generation, there is no real study of their experiences upon returning home.
Childers' research focuses on modern German history and the Second World War. He is the author of The Nazi Voter and Reevaluating the Third Reich. In addition, he has completed the first two volumes of a trilogy on World War II, Wings of Morning: The Story of the Last American Bomber Shot Down over Germany in World War II and In the Shadows of War. The final volume is titled The Best Years of Their Lives.
During his two-day visit, Childers meets with faculty and students and attends classes to discuss his area of expertise. His research into the Holocaust ties in with a class studying the Holocaust taught by Dr. Joanne Gilbert, associate professor of communication.
Named the Hackney Professor of History in 2000, Childers has taught at Penn since 1976 and has held visiting professorships at Columbia University, Smith and Swarthmore Colleges, and Trinity Hall College, Cambridge. Among his honors are the Abrams Award for Distinguished and Challenging Teaching, the Dunn Award for Distinguished Teaching in History, the 2000 Senior Class Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, and, most recently, the Spotlight on Teaching Award as the Best Lecturer in the Humanities at Penn.
He is the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships, including an Alexander Von Humboldt Stiftung Research Grant, a West European Studies Research Grant from Harvard, a Fulbright fellowship, and an ACLS fellowship in European Studies.
Childers comes to Alma through the Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Program. Established in 1956, the Visiting Scholar Program sends distinguished scholars to colleges and universities with Phi Beta Kappa chapters for two-day visits. The Scholar delivers lectures at each stop, and is expected to take full part in the academic life of the institution.
The purpose of the program is to contribute to the intellectual life of the campus by making possible an exchange of ideas between the Visiting Scholar and the resident faculty and students, according to the PBK Website.
Founded in 1776, Phi Beta Kappa is the nation's oldest academic honor society. It has chapters at 270 colleges and universities and more than 500,000 members. Alma College is one of eight Michigan institutions with a Phi Beta Kappa chapter.
Posted: Mon, March 7th, 2005 at 12:53PM