Norwich University symposium considers centennial legacy of World War I
By Chris Isleib
Director of Public Affairs, U.S. World War One Centennial Commission
World War I will be commemorated this year at Norwich University’s 18th Annual William E. Colby Military Writers’ Symposium. Titled “Won the War, Lost the Peace: The Centennial Legacy of World War One”, the symposium will discuss World War I and the effects it had on America and the world.
The Symposium will be held on April 12th and April 13th at Norwich University in Vermont. A World War One Centennial Commission member and advisor are part of the symposium.
The Colby Symposium is the only program of its kind to exist at an American university. It has given Norwich University students the opportunity to meet some of the most prominent military, intelligence and international affairs writers and historians of our time. Norwich itself is the oldest private military college in the country, founded in 1819.
The award has been given to books discussing various wars throughout American History, including “Alvin York: A New Biography of the Hero of the Argonne”, by Colonel Douglas Mastriano, discussing one of the 92 Medal of Honor recipients of World War I. Colonel Mastriano won the Colby in 2015.
This year’s Symposium will feature a number of high profile speakers.
- Colonel Robert Dalessandro, Chair of the World War I Centennial Commission, will present “American Extraordinary Force in France” on the first day of the Symposium.
- Dr. Michael Neiberg, professor of national security and strategy at the U.S. Army War College will present “The Great War: The War That Never Ended”
- Dr. Jennifer Keene, professor of history and chair of the History Department at Chapman University, and a member of the Board of Historical Advisors tgo t eh World War One Centennial Commission, will present “What Did It All Mean? American Soldiers in World War I”.
These three scholars of the First World War will share a panel the following day. Colonels Sean G. Kirschner and Eric Brigham, working with Norwich’s Sullivan Museum and History Center, will discuss Chemical Warfare in World War I, one of the many technological innovations that happened during the war.
David Barron, whose book “Waging War: The Clash Between Presidents and Congress, 1776 to ISIS” won the 2017 Colby Award, an award given to books dedicated to Military History, will also make a presentation about his book. Barron’s book discusses the history of the ongoing struggle between U.S. presidents and Congress over who has the power to declare and wage war, beginning with George Washington and the Continental Congress and continuing through current-day conflicts described as the Global War on Terror. The Award itself will be presented to Mr. Barron at the end of the Symposium.
The Colby prize is awarded annually by Norwich University to a first solo work of fiction or nonfiction that has made a major contribution to the understanding of military history, intelligence operations or international affairs.
While the event is open to all Norwich undergraduates and graduate students, all other guests are free to register online for the Symposium.