Christine Metz Howard
International Affairs

Series of events to honor WWI, today's veterans, military

Mon, 09/29/2014

LAWRENCE – From poetry readings to symphony performances, the University of Kansas will host a series of events throughout the fall to commemorate World War I and pay tribute to today’s veterans and military.

The events are connected to KU’s Centennial Commemoration of World War I, which is being coordinated by the European Studies Program and includes collaboration with departments and organizations throughout KU and the community to mark the 100th anniversary of the war.

“The commemoration explores how World War I informs our understanding of contemporary conflicts and how conflicts today shape our understanding of World War I,” said Lorie Vanchena, academic director of the European Studies Program and lead coordinator. “One of the goals we hope to accomplish over the next four years is to explore these connections.”

An example of the link between today’s wars and the Great War is the artwork of Folleh Tamba, a Marine who was deployed several times to Iraq and Afghanistan. Poems written during and in response to World War I have inspired Tamba’s work. The former Marine and KU students will read and discuss these poems at a poetry reading Oct. 8 at the Spencer Museum of Art.

The Lied Center will host two performances that tie into the commemoration. On Sept. 30, the KU Symphony Orchestra will perform Edward Elgar’s iconic cello concerto with guest cellist Joshua Roman. Deeply saddened by the destruction of World War I, Elgar composed the piece in the summer of 1919.

“Basetrack,” a multimedia theatrical performance, offers a contemporary view of war. Interweaving live music, journalism and technology, the performance draws on the power of soldiers’ stories to examine the experience of those who served in Afghanistan. The performance will be Oct. 15.

The series of events also includes panel discussions with KU scholars and a conference organized by Graduate Military Programs, which focuses on the national response to veterans within the criminal justice system. Exhibits connected to World War I will be on display this fall at the Spencer museum, Watkins Museum of History and Lied Center.

A full listing of events:


Now – Oct. 16

Local Veterans Art Exhibit 

In connection with the performance “Basetrack," the Lied Center will display the artwork of local veterans throughout the building.

Now – Oct. 16

KU Student Veterans Uniform Project

The contemporary uniforms from students who are serving or have served in the military will be on display.

Location: Lied Center


Now – Winter 2014/2015

The Second Battlefield: Nurses in the First World Wardonations accepted

Works on paper reveal World War I’s second battlefield, the medical personnel caring for the wounded. As medical practices evolved during the war years, nursing played a critical role.

Location: Spencer Museum of Art


Now – Winter 2014/2015

World War I and the End of Empires, donations accepted

The first public exhibit that pulls from a gift of more than 3,000 World War I art works, the exhibit explores how the Great War changed the notion of modernity and realigned the political map in ways that continue to affect us today.

Location: Spencer museum


Now – Jan. 24

Doing Our Part: Lawrence During the Great War, donations accepted

Through letters, artifacts and photographs, the exhibit shares the stories of the men who served overseas, life on the homefront in Douglas County and local memorials honoring those lost in conflict.

Location: Watkins Museum, 1047 Massachusetts St.



Tuesday, Sept. 30

The Elgar Concerto Within the Context of WWI6:30 p.m.

A pre-performance conversation will explore the Elgar Cello Concerto within the context of World War I. The presentation also will cover information about the recently acquired World War I art collection at the Spencer museum and KU’s World War I commemoration efforts.

Location: Lied Center Pavilion


Tuesday, Sept. 30

University of Kansas Symphony Orchestra with Joshua Roman, 7:30 p.m.,

$20-$30 Adult / $11-$16 Student/Youth

The KU Symphony Orchestra will perform the Elgar Cello Concerto with guest cellist Joshua Roman. Written in the aftermath of World War I, the Elgar concerto expresses the composer’s sadness at the devastation of the war.

Location: Lied Center


Wednesday, Oct. 8

Reading: The Poetry of the First World War, 4 p.m.

An Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran, Folleh Tamba created artwork inspired by World War I poetry. Tamba and KU students will read and discuss these poems. In October, Tamba’s exhibit, “A Grunt’s War Diary,” will be on view at Kansas State University.

Location: Spencer museum


Monday, Oct. 13

Panel Discussion - Media and Military: A Tentative Alliance, 5:30 p.m.

Modern warfare relies on a relationship between the military and media, both of which seek to serve the public. This panel discussion will focus on this sometimes difficult and definitely complex relationship. Panelists will include: cast members of “Basetrack”; Barbara Bennett, associate dean of KU’s William Allen White School of Journalism & Mass Communications; and Mike Denning, director of the Office of Graduate Military Programs. Following the panel discussion a reception will be held for the cast of “Basetrack” at the VFW.

Location: Watkins Museum, 1047 Massachusetts St.


Wednesday, Oct. 15

“Basetrack”; 7:30 p.m., $20-$30 Adult / $11-$16 Student/Youth

A multimedia theatrical performance, “Basetrack” draws on the power of soldiers’ stories to examine the experience of those who served in Afghanistan. The performance, which mixes live music, journalism and technology, sparks conversation on the legacy of war.

Location: Lied Center


Tuesday, Oct. 21

Combat Veterans Courts: Leave No Veteran Behind, 7 p.m.

Part of a conference sponsored by Graduate Military Programs, the program will examine the national response to the plight of veterans within the criminal justice system. Melissa Fitzgerald, best known for her role as Carol on the television show “The West Wing” and currently senior director for Justice for Veterans, will headline the conference. Graduate Military Programs, the Command and General Staff College Foundation and Marine Corps University Foundation are hosting the program.

Location: Woodruff Auditorium, Kansas Union


Wednesday, Oct. 22

War Termination – Compare and Contrast Vietnam to Afghanistan and Iraq, 7 p.m.

A lecture and panel discussion will compare and contrast the war termination measures of the Vietnam War and the post 9/11 conflicts of Afghanistan and Iraq. Graduate Military Programs, the Command and General Staff College Foundation and Marine Corps University Foundation are hosting the event.

Location: Dole Institute of Politics


Tuesday, Nov. 4

Veterans Day Run9 a.m., $

Runners can choose from a 5K to 10K route that will start at KU's Memorial Stadium and travel through campus and past KU's memorials before returning to Memorial Stadium for fun and festivities. Proceeds support the KU Wounded Warrior Scholarship Fund and the KU Collegiate Veterans Association. 

Location: Memorial Stadium


Saturday, Nov. 8

Salute to Service at KU football game, halftime, $ 

Football fans will take a few moments during halftime of the KU vs. Iowa State game to remember military veterans. Tickets to the game are free for KU's Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) students, who will do pushups in the end zone for every point KU scores during the game. 

Location: Memorial Stadium


Saturday - Sunday, Nov. 8 and 9


Cadets and midshipmen of KU's ROTC will be posted in uniform at KU's war memorial sites on campus in observance of Veterans Day. The vigil will fall between the KU Salute to Service football game on Nov. 8 and the Veterans Day Run on Nov. 9. 

Location: Throughout KU's campus

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