Schooling With Uncle Sam Covered in Telegraph

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“Schooling with Uncle Sam” Opens at Special Collections Library on July 11

PRESS RELEASE
June 23, 2015
city sealFor Immediate Release
Contact:

Dr. Allen Dale Olson

Phone 505-400-3849

olsonallen@msn.com

 

“Schooling with Uncle Sam” Opens at Special Collections Library on July 11 Exhibit Tells the Story of Schools and Students on Military Bases Across the World 

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – ABC Library‘s Special Collections Library is the venue for an upcoming exhibition, “Schooling with Uncle Sam,” focused on the history of the 181 schools for military dependents located in the U.S. and throughout the world. Less than one-third (58) of one of America’s largest school systems is located in the States; the rest are spread around the world, from the Far and Middle East to Western Europe.

The exhibit, developed by the Museum of the American Military Family and Learning Center, will open on Saturday, July 11 in the Main Reading Room at the Special Collections Library at Edith and Central.

The public is invited to attend an special ceremony with a ribbon-cutting, honor guard, remarks and light refreshments on Thursday, July 16 at 5 p.m.

The massive educational system has its origins in military sponsorship of the education of the sons and daughters of the armed forces that began in the mid-19th century. Today’s sprawling system came out of post WWII when it was determined that morale would increase among Occupation soldiers if their families were with them, and that the living examples of American democracy would be influential in the defeated German and Japanese populations. Another factor in new policy was the concern over stationing the now racially integrated military in the still-segregated South.

Since 1946, when the Department of Defense opened schools for military dependents in Germany and Japan, an estimated 15 million American students have received  their education/ on military installations in foreign lands. The average Department of Defense Education Agency (DODEA) student will attend four, five or even more different schools on the/ way to graduation. More than a quarter of them will enter first grade speaking a foreign language, and almost all of them will have lived in a foreign country by the time they reach the fourth grade.

With Albuquerque’s large population of active and retired military and veterans, the new exhibit will bring back memories for many area residents who themselves attended DODEA schools, or had children who attended them. The new exhibit will feature detailed information about the history and growth of the schools, anecdotes from students who attended them, and a host of artifacts that include: a 1948 report card; teachers’ guides; books on learning to speak, write and sing in the language of their new home; school flags and pennants; posters; school photos; yearbooks; athletic jackets and trophies; a high school diploma; a bison head that was worn by the varsity mascot at the Mannheim, Germany highschool; a statement from General Colin Powell, US Army, Ret.; and much more. Many of the artifacts in the exhibit are provided by the American Overseas Schools Historical Society (AOSHS), based in Wichita, Kansas.

Details about one military kid stationed in Germany who decided that if the University of Maryland could offer evening classes for soldiers, they could do it for “military Brats, too (an affectionate appellation chosen by the “Brats” themselves). Claire Schwan, daughter of Colonel William A. Schwan, convinced Major General Thorson that it was needed, and soon there was a two-year undergraduate program with 18 students! During its 55-year existence, the two-year European campus of the University of Maryland served more than 22,000 student as the only residential college for children of U.S. military and State Department personnel.

Circle your calendars and don’t miss this engaging exhibit that will provide a lot of information on the lives of military dependents, a number of smiles, and will add to our knowledge about a life few of us have experienced. The constant moves and changes of school, teachers, friends and cultures-all without their express consent-makes for a very challenging, but rewarding life. The stories of how these students adapted and thrived should be an inspiration to us all.

The exhibit is presented by The Museum of the American Military Family and Learning Center (MAMF), whose mission it is to collect and preserve the stories, experiences, documents, photos, and artifacts of the mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, spouses, siblings, and others who have loved and supported a member of America’s military services from  Revolutionary  War times to modern times. MAMF is an all-volunteer not-for-profit online entity in quest of a permanent home in Albuquerque and is launching a capital campaign to support that quest.

Curators for “Schooling with Uncle Sam” are:Dr. Circe Olson Woessner, ND, MAMF Executive Director, is DoD Brat, an Army wife of twenty years and mother to an active duty soldier. She taught in the overseas Department of Defense Schools in Europe and the Caribbean and currently works for the federal government. In 2002, she compiled the stories of over 150 University of Maryland, Munich, Germany alumni, resulting in two books documenting the history of that campus’ 40-year history. She has been recognized for her unique education programs in the US and abroad and has been published in Eddiciones Santillana’s Strategies for Teaching English in Puerto Rico. She has been featured in the Army Times and has been quoted in scholarly books about growing up on military bases overseas. Due to her father’s permanent stationing in Europe, she had the unusual experience of attending the same overseas DODEA school throughout her primary and secondary education. Circe belongs to the Blue Star Mothers and co-edits the American Overseas Schools Historical Society (AOSHS) Quarterly newsletter.

Dr. Allen Dale “Ole” Olson, Public Affairs for MAMF, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Physical Education, a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education,  and a doctorate in General Administration from the George Washington University. Ole is a World War II-era veteran and spent most of his civilian career with the United States Defense Department assigned to the Headquarters of the U.S. Army in Europe, where he served as the Army Liaison to the DoD Dependents Schools. He also spent twelve years as an Executive Officer for the DoD schools in Europe. Following his retirement, Dr. Olson served as Dean of the Graduate School of Schiller International University and as the Executive Director of the Southern Indiana Center for the Arts. Ole co-edits the AOSHS Quarterly newsletter, and is the President of the Museum Collaborative Council of Albuquerque.

The exhibit is free to the public and available at the Special Collections Library, 423 Central Avenue NE (corner of Central and Edith). The library is open from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, except for Thursdays, when it opens at 11 a.m. and closes at 7 p.m.

The Special Collections Library of the ABC Library houses research collections on Albuquerque history and New Mexico history and culture. The 1925 Pueblo/Spanish Revival-style building is a registered Albuquerque landmark in the historic Huning Highlands neighborhood. As a research library, materials are available for in-house use only.

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 ABC Library is part of the Cultural Services Department, City of Albuquerque, Richard J. Berry, Mayor. ABC Library consists of 17 locations serving a diverse population with a variety of programs, events and services. In 2014, the library welcomed more than 2 million patrons and managed the circulation of more than 4 million materials. For more information on all of the library events and services, call 311 or visit www.abclibrary.org

 Established in 1969, the Friends for the Public Library is a nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization supporting the Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Library System. For more information, please visit http://www.friendsforthelibrary.org/

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MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN MILITARY FAMILY TO SHOW THE STORY OF SCHOOLS ON U.S. BASES AROUND THE WORLD

MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN MILITARY FAMILY TO SHOW THE STORY OF SCHOOLS ON U.S. BASES AROUND THE WORLDSpecial Exhibit Opens July 11 in Albuquerque

By Allen Dale Olson

Less than a third of one of America’s largest school systems is actually in the United States. Its 78,000 K-12 students attend 181 schools, 58 of which are in the States, the rest spread around the world from the Far and Middle East to Western Europe.

Headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, as part of the Defense Department (DoD), it has field offices in Peachtree, Georgia, and in Japan and Germany. The Department of Defense Education Agency (DoDEA) is a civilian educator agency serving the families of American military personnel.

The history, challenges, and achievements of this unique school system will be on display in the Main Reading Room of the Albuquerque Special Collections Library starting July 11 and running through August 22, with an opening ceremony on July 16 at 5:00 p.m.

An exhibit created by the Museum of the American Military Family (MAMF),“Schooling with Uncle Sam” uses quotes, photos, documents, and artifacts gathered from around the world from former students, teachers, administrators, and military personnel and curated by MAMF volunteers with decades of experience in the DoD schools. MAMF is the only museum in the country dedicated exclusively to collecting and preserving the stories of the mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, spouses, and other relatives of uniformed personnel from our nation’s founding to the present. Read the rest of this entry »


Wanted: A Place to Call Home

IMG_0933The Museum of the American Military Family & Learning Center needs your help. We’ve found a building to buy in Albuquerque, NM, and can take immediate possession with $35,000 down, and open the doors this summer.

MAMF honors Military Families—of all branches and all generations—If we all pitch in, we can help create a permanent museum showcasing Military Families.

All supporters will be recognized in the museum in a permanent display. Together, we can do this!

We are an all-volunteer 501c3 nonprofit. Your contribution will help make this a reality.

 

http://www.museumoftheamericanmilitaryfamily.org/SponsorsandDonations.html

 


We’ve Found the Perfect Space for our Museum; Please Help Us Buy It!

After years of looking, the Museum of the American Military Family has found a great building in a perfect location in Albuquerque, NM.

It will cost around $220,000 to buy. With your support, we can create a physical museum and library dedicated to our unique culture.

Your tax deductible contribution in any amount will help us continue to:

Honor America’s Military Families
Share their stories
Preserve their legacies
Recognize the countless men, women and children who stand beside America’s Service Members
We are a 501c3 nonprofit with an all-volunteer Board. Your support will be acknowledged in the museum building.

It will take all of us to create this unique museum–we appreciate your support!

please donate here:

http://www.museumoftheamericanmilitaryfamily.org/SponsorsandDonations.html


University of Maryland, Munich Campus: College of SPECIAL and CONTINUATION STUDIES

This is an article written in 1954  By MABELLE BECK (The Diamondback) taken from the University of Maryland Campus Archives. To see more materials click here.

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CONSIDERING it too far to commute to College Park, 30 youthful dependents of United States military personnel in Germany are attending the Daytime College of the University of Maryland Munich Center.

These students, one of whom is a dependent wife, compose the class of 1954 which is the first class of the college which opened in October.

Similar to the evening program which is provided by the College of Special and Continuation Studies for the benefit of the military, the Day time School, too, operates an accelerated program. Read the rest of this entry »


ALUMNA LOOKS BACK FONDLY AT HER TIME ON THE MUNICH CAMPUS

In September of 1964, I’d graduated from high school in Rome, Italy, where my father was stationed at the American Embassy. It was time for me to go to college but my parents didn’t want me back in the states alone, so the University of Maryland at Munich was the obvious solution. I was 18 with no idea what I wanted. Naturally, I complained bitterly about “having” to go to Munich! The truth was I was terrified. I’d never been on my own, had no ambitions, didn’t speak German, and didn’t know which unknown to be afraid of most. So I was afraid of everything.

I remember being driven (crying) to the airport to pick up a military flight bound for Munich. I was surprised to see that all the passengers were American college students. Some were entering freshmen like me, but some were sophomores who could tell us where things were and what we needed to do next. I didn’t suddenly get brave, but I did start to ask questions, and that’s when I began to see that this Munich thing had possibilities. I had no idea then what a priceless experience it would turn out to be.

At the UM facilities on McGraw Kaserne, I learned that our dorm had once housed German SS troops. The classroom building, labs, meal hall, auditorium, and meeting rooms were all used by Nazi Germany. The year before I got there, The Great Escape had been filmed very near to us in Perlacher Forest. One U of M classmate’s father flew bombing raids on Munich and now his daughter was living in his former targets. The World War that had seemed distant when my parents talked about it became very real to me. Read the rest of this entry »


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