Major Larry E. Porter Jr.

Imagine learning history, politics and international law from the very people who made it.

That’s what students enrolled in Humanities 161–The Iraq War experienced in a very tangible way.

Over the course of the 2009 fall semester, class speakers ranged from former National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley to the retired Army officer and West Point professor who literally wrote the book on the counterinsurgency strategy. Students were captivated by details of efforts to keep detention facilities from becoming breeding grounds for insurgency and of a soldier’s fight to stay alive. They heard of new military strategies and major mistakes that provided future lessons.

But not all of the firsthand experience came via guest speakers.

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WPowell Why I Said Yes To Guantanamo

I’m pretty sure I had never uttered the word “Guantanamo” before the summer of 2004. I had never even seen A Few Good Men, the movie famously set on the U.S. Navy’s base there. Guantanamo Bay Naval Base first crossed my mind in early 2002, when the U.S. began transferring suspected al-Qaida and Taliban members captured in the war in Afghanistan to the prison located there.

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mollythompsont Five Minutes With … Molly Thompson

Even as a high school student, Molly Boland Thompson, BA’99, knew that Vanderbilt University was the place for her. She found her campus home in the College of Arts and Science, first as an English major during her undergraduate matriculation and now as school registrar.

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craftart-thumb The Craft of an Art

Within the brick walls of Benson Hall’s top floor lies an incubator for the next generation of writers. Home to Vanderbilt’s master of fine arts program in creative writing, the fourth-floor hallways are lined with books, comfortable reading chairs, and the workplaces of renowned authors mentoring some of the campus’ best student writers.

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kennedy-thumb Back in the Day

The campus welcomes notable speakers each spring, but none generated more excitement than President John F. Kennedy did on May 18, 1963. Dudley Field was packed as the president commemorated the university’s 90th anniversary.

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