WILSON, N.C. — August 29, 2017 — Barton College in Wilson is pleased to host North Carolina’s “Returning Over There: The U.S. and World War I” Symposium in conjunction with the College’s upcoming BB&T Heritage Lecture in American History. The symposium weekend will open with historian Dr. Mitchell Yockelson, archivist with the National Archives and Records Administration, as the featured speaker for the BB&T Heritage Lecture in American History on Friday, Oct. 13. His topic will be “Forty-Seven Days: How General Pershing and His Warriors Defeated the General Army at the Meuse Argonne.” A reception for the BB&T Lecture will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Kennedy Family Theatre on campus, followed by Dr. Yockelson’s remarks at 6 p.m. There is no charge for attending the Friday evening BB&T Lecture. Registration costs for the symposium events are noted below.
Following the BB&T Lecture on Friday evening, those participating in the “Returning Over There: The U.S. and World War I” Symposium will enjoy dinner in the Bridgestone Americas Atrium of the Kennedy Family Theatre, followed by a special presentation of J.M. Barrie’s “Echoes of the War” by Theatre at Barton in the black box theatre. Reservations are required for the symposium dinner/theatre event on Friday evening.
The Symposium Weekend registration cost is $10 per person, and the Friday symposium dinner/theatre event is $20 per person. Symposium registration and dinner/theatre reservations may be made online at www.barton.edu/WWI. The registration deadline is Monday, Oct. 2.
On Saturday, Oct. 14, the “Returning Over There: The U.S. and World War I” Symposium sessions will be held in Hardy Alumni Hall on campus. Registration will begin at 8 a.m. Divided into three sessions, the morning presentations will open at 8:30 a.m. with Session I: North Carolina Doughboys, followed at 9 a.m. by Session II: The Battle of Cantigny, The German Perspective, and The War at Sea. There will be a short break and the symposium will conclude with Session III: The 30th Division, The North Carolina National Guard, and The Influenza Epidemic of 1918, at 10:30 a.m.
BB&T Heritage Lecturer —
In addition to serving as an archivist with the National Archives and Records Administration, Dr. Mitchell Yockelson teaches graduate courses in military history at Norwich University. He has also taught at the U.S. Naval Academy. Considered one the nation’s leading experts on the First World War, he has written four books of military history, including most recently “Forty-Seven Days: How Pershing’s Warriors Came of Age to Defeat the German Army in World War I” (2016). He is an advisor to the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission, and he has appeared on the History Channel, PBS, and “Sixty Minutes.”
Symposium Session Speakers —
Matthew J. Davenport practices law in Greenville and teaches at East Carolina University. He is the author of the highly acclaimed and best-selling book, “First Over There: The Attack on Cantigny, America’s First Battle of World War I” (2015). His book was the finalist for the Guggenheim-Lehrman Prize in Military History. Davenport was awarded the 2017 Daughters of the American Revolution Medal of Honor. He has led tours of the battlefields of the Western Front through France and Belgium, and he has written on World War I for the “Wall Street Journal” and the “American Legion Magazine.” Davenport will discuss the Battle of Cantigny.
Lieutenant Colonel Sion H. Harrington III, United States Army (Retired), is a native of Erwin and a 1971 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Following graduation, he served as a high school history teacher and coach for eight years. Colonel Harrington’s military career spanned nearly four decades, from 1970 to 2009, and included service as an enlisted man and commissioned officer. He served in the North Carolina National Guard, on active duty in the United States Army, and in the United States Army Reserve. Highlights of his career include duty with the 82nd Airborne Division; XVIII Airborne Corps; 1st Special Operations Command (Airborne); the United States Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command, as well as deployments to Grenada and Bosnia. He dedicated his final working years to the collection and preservation of North Carolina military history, retiring in 2011 as the Military Collection Archivist for the State Archives of North Carolina. Colonel Harrington will discuss Notable Tar Heels in the World War.
R. Jackson Marshall III is a native North Carolinian and the grandson of a World War I veteran. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and Master of Arts degree from Wake Forest University. Marshall has been employed with the North Carolina Museum of History for 30 years, and he currently serves as the museum’s deputy director. A published historian on North Carolina’s role in World War I, Marshall’s book, “Memories of World War I,” is based on his interviews with WWI veterans in the 1980s. He has taken numerous trips to France and Belgium to study WWI battlefields. Marshall also served as the museum’s curator and project manager of North Carolina in World War I, a 6,500-square foot exhibition that commemorates the centennial of the war. Marshall will discuss North Carolina in the Great War.
Dr. Sal Mercogliano is a graduate of the State University of New York Maritime College and holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Alabama. He currently is an assistant professor of history at Campbell University, where he received the Dean Award for Teaching in 2014-2015. He has published more than two dozen articles and essays, and he has delivered numerous presentations, mainly on naval and maritime history. Dr. Mercogliano received the Merchant Marine Medal for his service in Operation Desert Shield/Storm. He will discuss the First World War at sea.
Dan Shingleton earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religion and Philosophy from Barton College (then Atlantic Christian College) and a Master of Social Work degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. His interest in the history of medicine developed during his years of service as a consultant and administrator for the North Carolina Division of Public Health. This led to numerous presentations about public health history in classrooms, health departments, and conferences. In 2016, he delivered the Wood Lecture at the annual meeting of the North Carolina Public Health Association. He is a founding member of the Friends of Laupus Health Sciences Library and an active member of The Medical History Interest Group at East Carolina University. He is a former member of the Barton College faculty (then Atlantic Christian College) and has also taught at East Carolina University. He will discuss the Influenza Epidemic of 1918.
Dr. Mark Spaulding holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Rochester and a Ph.D. from Harvard. He is a professor of history at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington where he teaches courses on World War II and the history of modern Germany. Dr. Spaulding has written extensively on German trade and economic policies. He will discuss World War I from the German perspective.
Sergeant Gary Spencer is a graduate of The Citadel, Class of 1996. He began his career as general manager for Borders Books. Once that company closed its doors, Spencer fulfilled his dream and joined the North Carolina Army National Guard, and currently serves as a Tank Commander of an M1A1 Abrams tank in Delta Company, 1st of the 120th Combined Arms Battalion, 30th Brigade Combat Team. He also serves full time as the Curator and Historian for the North Carolina National Guard Museum. A lifelong collector of U.S. militaria, Sergeant Spencer is an ardent student of military history. Growing up with his grandparents, he was surrounded by history, from a portrait of his ancestor that signed the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence and artifacts from his Confederate lineage to captured rifles, swords, and flags from his grandfather’s service as a Marine in WWII. Spencer’s primary personal collecting interests include awards, decorations, and orders of the world. He makes his home in Raleigh with his wife, Kirsten, and their two children, Vivian and Jackson. Sergeant Spencer will discuss the North Carolina National Guard’s role in WWI.
The Friday lectureship is endowed by BB&T, and the evening’s sponsors include the School of Humanities at Barton College and the Wilson County Historical Association.
Hosted by Barton College, the North Carolina “Returning Over There: The U.S. and World War I” Symposium is sponsored by the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources and supported in part by the Wilson County Tourism Authority.
For those interested in traveling to France and Belgium where history was made during World War I, visit the “Returning Over There” travel website at www.explorica.com/Barton-1439 to learn more about the upcoming Barton trip abroad scheduled for May 18-27, 2018. There are a few spaces still open, and the cost is currently $4021 per person, which includes airfare, lodging, ground transportation, all breakfasts and dinners, plus prepaid trips. This opportunity will complement the October symposium as the travel experience in May will include visits to the Somme, Verdun, Belleau Wood, St. Quentin Canal and the famous “Surrender” railroad car. There will be two nights in the Champagne region to sample the local specialties and then on to Flanders Field and Ypres in Belgium. While nearby, the group will also visit the Normandy beaches and Paris.
For additional information about the symposium, please contact Dr. Jeff Broadwater, professor of history, at (252) 399-6443 or firstname.lastname@example.org.